House passes bill to block Iran nuclear deal -- but then cancels vote with rare procedural move
US House Speaker Paul Ryan (AFP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The House of Representatives passed a measure Wednesday aimed at blocking implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, but abruptly cancelled the vote because nearly one third of lawmakers were absent.

The Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act, which would bar the US administration from lifting certain sanctions against Iran, passed by a vote of 191 to 106, a low total by any measure in the 435-member chamber.

Some 137 members missed the vote. In a rare procedural move after presiding Republican Bradley Byrne brought the gavel down and deemed the bill passed, House officials scrapped the vote.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who took up the post in late October, has made a point of sticking to rules designating the timing for House votes, many of which are held open at length as lawmakers make their way to the chamber.

"The speaker made an announcement on the floor last week about keeping vote times closer to the allotted time," a Ryan aide told AFP.

"While we'll continue to make that a priority, because many members missed this important vote, it was vacated and we'll revote when we return."

Major votes often have a 15-minute time limit. House staff said Byrne gavelled the Iran bill vote closed after 19 minutes.

"Ryan does not like tardiness," a House official said.

The vote is to be rescheduled for the week of January 25.