House Republicans scored an unlikely victory Wednesday when they won a vote to add $10 million to the budget to enforce new economic sanctions President Trump placed on Iran.
The move was approved on a 226-195 vote, with 37 Democrats defying party leaders and joining Republicans.
Republican Rep. Mike Waltz, a former Green Beret, argued the funds were vital to shoring up the U.S. national security.
“This motion will implement sanctions policy towards Russia, North Korea, ISIS and particularly the Iranian regime,” he said on the House floor. “I am personally well aware of the grave threat Iran poses to the security of our country. I have lived it.”
Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley argued that Republicans had previously voted for two amendments that would have actually cut the funds by about $23.5 million.
He pointed out that, despite Republican opposition to the bill, it included a nearly $9 million increase from last year’s allocation.
The vote came on what’s known as a “motion to recommit,” which usually is the final step before passage of a bill in the House. The tactic grants the minority party an opportunity to make a last amendment, of its choosing — though it is rare they pass.
All other amendments must have permission of the majority party — which usually rules out controversial topics.
Democrats pressured lawmakers not to vote for GOP motions, but several have been too juicy to avoid, including Wednesday’s one on Iran.
A previous successful motion to recommit involved alerting deportation authorities when an illegal immigrant tried to buy a gun.
Republicans seized on their latest victory after the vote, saying the passage was yet another example of “deep divisions” within the Democratic party.
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