Senators from both parties are threatening the Biden administration if they do not enforce sanctions on American adversaries.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
The nominees were grilled on Tuesday afternoon by lawmakers on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is responsible for signing off on Treasury Department nominees. Brian Nelson is nominated for undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, and Elizabeth Rosenberg is nominated for assistant secretary for terrorist financing. Both individuals, if confirmed, will have the power to advance sanctions relief.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he will under no circumstances support Rosenberg and Nelson if they fail to provide written guarantees that they will enforce a full range of sanctions on Russia, China, and Iran—even as the Biden administration moves to waive sanctions on these countries. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), the banking committee’s ranking member, also expressed grave concerns about what he sees as the administration’s desire to lift sanctions on Iran before the Islamic republic shows a willingness to halt its nuclear program and wind down its regional terrorism operations.
The bipartisan threats to veto the nominees signal growing frustration on Capitol Hill with the Biden administration’s decision to waive and cancel sanctions on Iran, China, and Russia. In addition to nixing sanctions on Iranian entities tied to its terrorism enterprise, the administration waived sanctions on Russia’s NordStream 2 energy pipeline. The pipeline is opposed by many members of Congress who see it as a way for Russian president Vladimir Putin to exert control over Europe’s energy needs.
In one exchange, Menendez scolded Rosenberg and Nelson for dodging questions about China’s ongoing purchase of illicit Iranian crude oil. This trade is heavily sanctioned, but the Biden administration has chosen not to enforce measures on the books, prompting outrage from Menendez, Toomey, and others. In recent months, China has imported more than 600,000 barrels of illegal Iranian oil.
It appears there are still bipartisan moments on Capitol Hill.