House leaders fail to agree on Iran resolution

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Republican and Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives failed to agree on a resolution that would have recommended parameters for the Iran talks.

Politico on Thursday quoted Stephanie Young, a spokeswoman for Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip, as saying that he would not support a resolution initiated by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader, because the time was not right.

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“Mr. Hoyer decided now was not the time to move forward with a resolution given implementation talks have not yet wrapped in Vienna,” Young said, referring to talks now underway on the details of a six-month interim sanctions-for-nuclear rollback deal between Iran and the major powers that is set to start next month.

According to Politico, the non-binding resolution would have recommended new sanctions, a tougher inspections regime than that outlined in the interim agreement brokered last month, and dismantling Iran’s nuclear program as part of a final deal.

MoveOn.Org, a liberal activist group, this week circulated a petition urging Democrats in Congress not to sign on to the resolution.

In an email, MoveOn said the petition was urgent because support for Cantor’s resolution was “gaining ground among Democratic members of the House.”

In a statement to JTA earlier this week, Young, Hoyer’s spokeswoman, pushed back against reports that Hoyer would sign on to any deal that would undercut Iran talks.

“Mr. Cantor has a resolution, it’s being reviewed and absolutely no decisions have been made,” she said. “It’s preposterous to think that Mr. Hoyer would sign onto any resolution he believes would undermine the White House or negotiations.”