House adopts bill to give Congress Iran nuclear agreement review

The U.S. Capitol and Senate Fountain. (Image from Flickr by USCapitol)
The House of Representatives has passed a compromise bill that will give Congress review powers over the Iran nuclear deal, within limits agreed to by the White House, despite the objections from some conservative lawmakers.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (HR 1191) was passed easily by a vote of 400-25 on Thursday afternoon. House leadership moved to vote on the bill under a fast-track procedure that prohibits amendments and requires a two-thirds majority, reported The Hill.

READ MORE: Senate passes bill giving Congress right to review Iran nuke deal

President Obama signaled that he would sign the bill if it was adopted in the form passed in the Senate last week by a vote of 98-1. He is currently meeting with Gulf Arab leaders at Camp David, in hopes of persuading them the Iran nuclear deal would not compromise US commitments to their security.

“The best way to avoid another war in the Middle East is a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis,” said Eliot Engel (D-NY), the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “I wish our negotiators success. And I hope this legislation sends a clear message that Congress is taking its role seriously, that we aren’t playing politics with this issue and that we want these negotiations to result in a strong, verifiable deal that keeps a nuclear bomb out of Iran’s hands.”

The Senate passed its version of the law with Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton casting the lone dissenting vote, but only after majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) invoked cloture to block discussion of any further amendments. As passed, the text was a compromise crafted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and the committee’s ranking democrat, Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), designed to avoid a White House veto.

The House also passed HR 2297, seeking to impose sanctions against financial institutions doing business with Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militant organization in southern Lebanon. The vote was 423-0, with 10 members not voting.