Iran sanctions dispute hurts vets bill prospects

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 4:04 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prospects for an election-year Senate bill aimed at beefing up benefits for America's veterans is caught in the dispute over whether to impose sanctions on Iran.

Democrats are trying to push a $21 billion measure through the Senate making more veterans eligible for care at government hospitals and expanding education, job training and other benefits.

Republicans are demanding a vote on an amendment making the bill less expensive and imposing fresh sanctions on Iran if ongoing negotiations over curbing that country's nuclear program fail.

President Barack Obama opposes such sanctions, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked attempts to hold a vote on them.

If Republicans are denied a vote on the measure, they may block the veterans bill from reaching final passage.

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