Senate passes Russian Federation sanctions bill, pushing back against Trump
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 9:08
A day earlier on Wednesday, the Senate added another set of sanctions on Russian Federation for meddling in last year's United States election, its reunification with Crimea and support for Syria's government in that country's six-year-long conflict. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Politico in an interview.
The measure is widely seen as a rebuke to Trump, as it hits Russian Federation with new sanctions to punish Moscow for its interference in USA elections, as well as over Moscow's aggression in Ukraine and Syria.
The Senate voted almost unanimously Wednesday to allow Congress to strip the president of the power to unilaterally lift existing sanctions against Russian Federation, a matter that had many of President Donald Trump's allies siding with his harshest critics.
The addition of Russian sanctions to the bill was a rebuke to the president because it would prohibit the president from being able to lift them without Congressional approval. Thursday's legislation punishes Iran for its ballistic missile testing and human rights violations, and applies terrorism sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It's not like the sanctions are a surprise to President Putin, who has been following the anti-Trump hysteria in Washington fairly closely. "And all during that process, the sanctions remain in place".
"We must take our own side in this fight, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans", McCain said.
A senior administration official said the White House is unhappy with measures in the Senate bill created to limit Trump's ability to ease the sanctions without congressional approval. Testifying this week on Capitol Hill, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the need to take action against Russian Federation but warned against measures that would cut off dialogue with Moscow.
"Essentially, we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue", Tillerson said.
Bernie Sanders. Sanders says he's anxious the legislation, which also includes sanctions against Iran, could hurt the Iranian nuclear deal. Lawmakers of both parties stressed the measures in no way target Iran's nuclear program or the landmark worldwide nuclear accord with Tehran.
Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker had pumped the breaks on the Russian Federation sanctions bill weeks ago, per the request of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Officials have been divided on how carefully the Middle East country has adhered to the executive agreement nuclear deal then-President Barack Obama agreed to in 2015. "The debate we have here is on the non-nuclear activities of Iran that violate worldwide norms and global agreements".