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Congress Moving on Tough Iran Sanctions Bill

June 23, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

With everything going on right now, you probably haven't heard that Congress is getting very close to passing tough new economic sanctions on Iran. The sanctions bill, known as the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010", passed both chambers earlier this year with wide bipartisan margins and the conference report is on the House schedule for possible consideration later this week. Laura Grossman at Frum Forum says the conference report came back from committee even tougher than the either of the versions that went in:

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The Next Iran Vote

June 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Following on Congress' approval last week of a pair of symbolic resolutions in support of the Iranian protesters, Rep. Mark Kirk [R, IL-10] is pushing for a vote on legislation that would actually put some economic pressure on Iran.

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House to Vote on Iran Resolution (Read it Here)

June 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28] and House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Mike Pence [R, IN-6] have come to an agreement on resolution language in response to the events in Iran, and the House is set to take a vote on it tomorrow.

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Troop-Support Calculus

June 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

By some bizarre turn of events, House Republicans are expected today to vote almost unanimously against a bill to fund the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their opposition to the bill, coupled with the House progressives' opposition to funding the wars in general, has thrown passage of the bill, and funding for U.S. troops overseas, in doubt.

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At Slashdot, moogsynth writes: Buried in section 329 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410), voted in recently, are measures to oppose any global climate change treaty that weakens the IP rights in the green tech of American companies. Peter Zura's patent blog notes that 'the vote comes in anticipation of the upcoming negotiations in December as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. ... Previously, there was sufficient chatter in international circles on comp...

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The $96.7 billion bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been stalled in Congress over objections that it would boost funding for the International Monetary Fund and block the release of detainee photos, not to mention objections to continuing to fund the wars.

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Earlier this week I wrote about a special provision that the Senate had stuck inside the Iraq/Afghanistan war funding supplemental to block, at the discretion of the Pentagon, the public release of photographs of detainee torture. Now liberal House Democrats are threatening to block the bill - and funding for the wars - unless the photo suppression provision is taken out.

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I highlighted this in yesterday's link roundup, but I think it deserves a bigger mention here. Salon's Glenn Greenwald found buried in the Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental funding bill a provision to override FOIA laws, retroactively, and block the public release of all torture photos. Here's an excerpt from his post, which was also posted to Boing Boing today: The White House is actively supporting a new bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman - called The The Detainee P...

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Obama's Global Poverty Bill is Back

May 26, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

This time last year, with the presidential race in full swing, the RNC put out an aggressive fund raising pitch: “Good for America – or Good for Obama?” They called out Obama on one bill in particular that he had introduced in the Senate, the Global Poverty Act of 2007, which they said "would raise the amount of American tax dollars allocated to United Nations’ redistribution efforts to $845 billion." That bill has finally be reintroduced into Congress and is now on a clear course towards becoming law.

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Senate Drops Guantanamo Closure Funds

May 20, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate voted today, 90-6, to take out $80 million from the Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental that was included for the Obama administration to manage the closing of the Guantanamo detention center and to prohibit any funds in the bill from being used to transfer detainees to the U.S. Click through for a list of the six senators that voted to keep the funds in the bill.

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House to Vote on Pro-Israel Resolution

January 8, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The office of Howard Berman (D-CA), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, whipped together a non-binding resolution in support of Israel's military operation in Gaza this week, and it's going to be voted on by the full House tomorrow. The Senate passed a very similar resolution by unanimous voice vote this afternoon.

The resolution is pretty difficult to track down online (at 8pm on the night before the vote, it hasn't been posted on thomas.gov), so here is a pdf of the draft text. After a lengthy findings section ("Whereas Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel;" "Whereas Hamas has been designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization;" etc.), it proposes the following for the House's endorsement:

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