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President Obama / Carolyn Kaster, AP

President Obama laid out his legislative agenda for Senate Democrats at a White House meeting on Wednesday, but also asked them not to do something.

Don't slap new sanctions on Iran.

Monday is the start of a six-month agreement between the U.S., allies and Iran, which is cutting back some nuclear activities in exchange for a loosening of existing sanctions.

In the meantime, the U.S. and its partners will seek a longer-term deal with Iran - talks that could be crippled if Congress adds new sanctions, Obama told his Senate Democratic colleagues.

"The president did speak passionately about how we have to seize this opportunity," Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., told the Associated Press. "If Iran isn't willing in the end to make the decisions that are necessary to make it work, he'll be ready to sign the bill to tighten those sanctions. But we've got to give this six months."

Obama and the senators also talked about a domestic agenda that includes a proposed hike in the minimum wage bill, an immigration bill, education, and continuing to put the health care law in place.

The White House readout of the meeting:

"The president met with members of the Senate Democratic Caucus. The group discussed their shared goals for 2014, and the President expressed his desire to continue to work together to advance a number of our priorities for the year to strengthen our economy, create jobs and build the middle class.

"The president has declared 2014 a year of action, and while he will continue to use his executive authority -- his pen and phone -- to get things done, he will also work with Congress to make progress on behalf of the American people.

"The president addressed a number of issues with the Caucus, including increasing the minimum wage so those Americans working hard can have a living wage, passing commonsense immigration reform, strengthening education and promoting a number of other jobs and growth measures."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama to Democrats: Put off new Iran sanctions

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