House passes resolution condemning Iran

Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the condemnation, which was reportedly toned down by the White House

Published June 19, 2009 5:45PM (EDT)

The House has now voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that condemns the Iranian government's actions in the wake of its recent election, and supports the protesters there. The vote, which took place Friday morning, went 405-1.

The idea of a resolution was originally proposed by a Republican, Georgia Rep. Mike Pence, and might have been aimed at embarrassing the Obama administration, which has been reluctant to take a strong stance against the Iranian government for fear of it backfiring against the protesters' cause.

But the White House seems to have realized it couldn't stop the resolution from passing, and probably didn't want to put potentially vulnerable Democrats in a tough spot. So, Politico's Glenn Thrush reports, some administration officials actually worked with House Democrats on the resolution, joining with them to convince Pence that it would be better to pass a slightly watered-down version of what he'd first introduced. Thrush quotes an unnamed senior administration official as saying, "We made it clear that we didn't want to make the U.S. a foil in a debate that has nothing to do with us."

The lone vote against the resolution, unsurprisingly, came from Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who can always be counted on to be the only opposition when a vote goes this strongly in one direction. Two Democrats, Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Dave Loebsack, voted present. 25 members -- 18 Democrats and seven Republicans -- didn't vote.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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