The House of Representatives managed to pass a bill connected to the White House's Iranian nuclear agreement on Tuesday, an effort by Republicans to curb President Obama's ability to lift sanctions on Iran.
The bill received an ironic second vote on Groundhog Day after an earlier vote was vetoed.
The GOP-initiated bill, called the “Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act” (HR-3662), passed 246-181, with almost all Democrats voting against the legislation. But according to The Hill, Senate Democrats are split over the issue.
The bill has not yet been taken up in the Senate, but a number of Democrats have pushed for Congress to crack down on Iran. Especially after recent missile tests casting doubt on Iran's willingness to keep up their side of the nuclear deal.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) originally opposed the nuclear deal and discussed the importance of new sanctions against Iran due to its missile program:
“It's something I'm very interested in. That was one of the reasons I could not support the original deal,” Manchin told The Hill. “On the Democratic side, I think it will be very well received.”
But other Democrats believe that the administration has done enough to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CN) didn't see a role for Congress in the current situation:
“I think we should hold over Iran's head the prospect of additional sanctions should they continue to test, but I'm supportive of the steps the administration took."
At least two initiatives regarding Iran, separate from the House bill, are being prepared by Democrats in the Senate. Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has legislation on Iran in the works. As well as Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who is working with Republican Senator Mark Kirk (IL) to extend the Iran Sanctions Act, set to expire at the end of 2016.
Though it is likely none of these bills will ever make it into law even with a Republican majority and both chambers of Congress working on Iran-connected legislation. Obama has made clear he plans to veto any measure attempting to undermine his Iran deal.
Based on the House vote, Congress would not be able to muster the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the President's veto.