Graham Threatens to Block Defense Bill Over Iran Sanctions Vote

Carolyn Kaster/AP

AA Font size + Print

With Congress running out of time, Graham threatens to halt the NDAA unless more sanctions are placed on Iran. By Stacy Kaper

Lindsey Graham is typically one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of the National Defense Authorization Act, but he threatened Wednesday to vote against the bill unless he is assured a vote on Iran sanctions.

My decision about the defense bill will be linked to whether or not we get a guarantee to vote on the Iranian sanctions, if we can introduce them,” the South Carolina Republican told reporters Wednesday. “If you can convince me that there will be another path forward other than the defense bill, that will go a long way to shape my thinking.”

Under an agreement reached between Armed Services Committee leaders, Congress would fast-track the annual defense authorization bill, having both chambers vote on identical bills and refusing amendments in both chambers.

That’s a difficult proposition in the Senate, because many members would hoping to use the bill as a vehicle for their defense-related agenda.

Graham, who is a strong advocate for sanctions and for the authorization bill, promised he’d vote against the latter unless guaranteed a vote on the former. “I need a guaranteed vehicle to get this done. I think it’s that important to our national security,” he said Wednesday.

(Related: Iranian Foreign Minister Says That More Sanctions Would Kill Nuke Deal)

Graham’s hesitation adds another complication for the fast-track passage plan, an effort to get the legislation finished before the House’s scheduled departure Friday.

Other senators—including Republicans Tom Coburn and Rand Paul—are objecting to the barring of amendments, and Sen. Mitch McConnell has yet to say whether he’ll back the plan, in part over concerns about bringing forward Iran sanctions legislation.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • GBC Issue Brief: Supply Chain Insecurity

    Federal organizations rely on state-of-the-art IT tools and systems to deliver services efficiently and effectively, and it takes a vast ecosystem of organizations, individuals, information, and resources to successfully deliver these products. This issue brief discusses the current threats to the vulnerable supply chain - and how agencies can prevent these threats to produce a more secure IT supply chain process.

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.