POLITICS

Ted Cruz throws his support behind bill to extend Iran sanctions for 10 years

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz on September 19, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz on September 19, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa.  (2015 Getty Images)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz continued his opposition to the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran by adding his name Tuesday to the cosponsors of a bill that would extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) by 10 years.

Cruz, who has pinned much of his presidential candidacy on opposing Obama's treaty with Iran, was added to the legislation that has been spearheaded by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

While Cruz did not make any public statements on the matter, Phil Novack, a spokesman for Cruz, told The Hill that the Texas lawmaker's decision to support the proposal is "consistent" with previous bills calling for sanctions that he's introduced.

"The ISA, which maintains a large portion of energy sanctions, is set to expire at the end of 2016. It is imperative this act be re-authorized in order to retain the option to re-impose sanctions if the administration lifts them," Novack said.

Cruz's support comes on the same day that the Republican presidential candidate said Congress should use legislation to fund the U.S. government as a lever to force the Obama administration to hand over more information about the Iran deal.

The firebrand senator added that the administration should have to hand over information about "secret side deals" involving inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities before any legislation to fund the government after Sept. 30 goes through.

Any stop-gap funding bill ought to use "the power of the purse to force this administration to hand over the Iranian side deals," Cruz said, according to Reuters. He added that he wants the budget bill to "defund" Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services.

The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday afternoon on a measure that would fund the government through Dec. 11without any money going to Planned Parenthood. It's expected that Democrats will filibuster the measure, which could then set the stage for a vote on a temporary funding bill sidestepping the Planned Parenthood controversy.

The plans of House leaders such as Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who often struggles to control his divided GOP conference, remain unclear.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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