The bill that passed out of Dodd's committee yesterday was built on the legislation crafted by these three. For more background on how this went down in committee yesterday, see here. And with the Iranians thumbing their collective nose at Obama over the shipment of uranium to Russia, the timing of this sanctions legislation really couldn't be better.
Bayh, Lieberman, and Kyl Call for Prompt Final Passage of Bill by Full Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) issued the following statement today, following the unanimous passage by the Senate Banking Committee of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2009:
"We applaud the unanimous passage of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2009 by the Senate Banking Committee. This important legislation incorporates key provisions of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (S. 908), which we introduced earlier this year and which 77 members of the Senate have cosponsored. We are likewise extremely encouraged by the passage of the House counterpart of S. 908 yesterday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This legislation would empower the President with the explicit authority to target Iran's dependence on imported gasoline and other refined petroleum products.
"We wish to thank Chairman Dodd and Senator Shelby for their leadership in the Senate Banking Committee on this important issue. As the government of Iran continues to refuse to comply with the international community's demands that it cease its illicit nuclear activities, it is appropriate that both the House and the Senate have responded this week with a big step toward the imposition of crippling sanctions.
"It is clear that an overwhelming bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress now supports the imposition of tough new sanctions on the government of Iran. We believe that now is the right time to bring this legislation to the Senate floor, and look forward to working with the Senate leadership to ensure its final passage, as quickly as possible."
Bayh, Lieberman, and Kyl introduced the toughest economic sanctions legislation to date against the Iranian regime to pressure the regime to change course, comply with international law, and suspend its nuclear program, as demanded by multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. This legislation, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (S. 908), was incorporated as part of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2009.
The Bayh-Lieberman-Kyl provisions would give President Obama expanded authority to impose severe economic penalties on foreign firms involved in the export of gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran, including a complete ban on doing business in the United States. Iran currently lacks the refining capacity to meet domestic consumption and must import as much as 40 percent of its gasoline from abroad. During the presidential campaign, President Obama endorsed the strategy of using Iran's dependence on foreign gasoline imports as leverage in the nuclear dispute.