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GOP Congress plans to cut funding for Iran talks

 Benjamin Netanyahu (C) is greeted by members of the Republican-dominated Congress as he arrives to speak during a joint meeting of the bicameral legislature at the US Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Republican lawmakers in the US Congress are pushing to cut all US funding for activities related to the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries, according to multiple sources.
US Representatives Peter Roskam of Illinois and Lee Zeldin of New York are asking their colleagues on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee to strip any funding in regard to the nuclear talks, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday.
This would eliminate all US funds available to Obama administration officials for travel overseas, hotel stays, and any other activities related to the P5+1 talks with Iran.
Iran and the P5+1 – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – are currently negotiating to reach a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program as a deadline slated for July 1 draws closer.
Roskam and Zeldin will send a letter next Tuesday to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, recommending that funding for the talks be eliminated in the fiscal year 2016 budget.
US Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois
“As you begin work on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill, we urge the prohibition of funding for the ongoing US involvement in dangerous P5+1 negotiations with Iran,” the lawmakers write, according to a draft of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, a website that publishes news and associated content from a conservative perspective.
With the deadline approaching for a nuclear agreement, Republicans have been infuriated by the Obama administration’s efforts to prevent them from having any oversight over the deal.
Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, has warned the White House that he’ll cut funding to the United Nations if the administration turns to the international body to lift sanctions on Iran as part of a deal.
Graham, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, made the comments Thursday during an appearance on Fox News.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina
The hawkish senator said he can block US funding for the United Nations, which is earmarked at $654 million for 2015 alone. “Twenty-two percent of the funding for the United Nations comes from the American taxpayers, and I’m in charge of that account.”
Earlier this month, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress, where he ranted for nearly 40 minutes against the Iran nuclear talks, warning Washington that it was negotiating a “bad deal” with the Islamic Republic.
The GOP invitation to Netanyahu was extended without consultation with the White House, drawing angry reaction from the Obama administration, which called it a breach of protocol.    

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