Sen. Lankford Pushes for Congressional Control of Sanctions Against Iran

Any new sanctions against Iran could eventually affect the oil and gas industry—-good or bad, depending on how they’re handled. When President Obama lifted sanctions, it hurt oil prices.

Now Sen. James Lankford wonders why a new sanctions bill aimed at Iran and Russia omits the power of congress.

In remarks this week to the Senate, the Republican Senator observed there are new sanctions on both countries, but only the Russia piece requires a congressional review to lift the sanctions.

“The way that this bill and this is currently authored, the sanctions against Russia cannot be unwound except by congressional actions. But not so against Iran. And I’m trying to figure out why,” said the Senator.

It was a year ago when the Senate voted 98-1 in support of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.

“It was to take authority back to be able to say Congress should be able to vote on sanctions being lifted in case there is ever a time that any president wants to be able to lift sanctions,” said Lankford.

He’s proposed an amendment to the sanctions bill, one that would allow the President to lift sanctions for 120 days but could not renew until it returns to Congress.

“This is not a hostile amendment. This is an amendment saying we’ve learned our lesson as a body. We should actually apply this,” he said. “If Congress creates sanctions, Congress should not release the authority to make decisions on and off. What we turned on, we should be able to turn off.”

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