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Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bipartisan Iran Sanctions Bill Targeting Revolutionary Guards

18 Juin 2017

The Senate was almost unanimous on Thursday passing a bill that would slap Russian Federation with new sanctions and give Congress the power to review any White House attempts to roll them back.

A day earlier on Wednesday, the Senate added another set of sanctions on Russian Federation for meddling in last year's usa election, its reunification with Crimea and support for Syria's government in that country's six-year-long conflict. This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the new sanctions would hamper diplomacy with Russian Federation.

The Republican-led Senate unanimously approved a measure emphasizing the importance of NATO's mutual defense pact, a not-so-subtle dig at President Donald Trump.

Mr. Schumer said Mr. Trump has been "far too eager" to float the idea of sanctions relief with Russian Federation and that the point of the amendment was to take the decision out of the executive's hands.

But Democrats said the message of the Russian Federation sanctions was aimed not just at Moscow, but also at the White House. The amendment was crafted by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), and Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The vote was overshadowed by Wednesday's shooting at a congressional Republican baseball practice - two senators were there, Rand Paul and Jeff Flake of Arizona - but the Senate kept on its schedule, and the bill is expected to be passed by the end of the week.

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The Senate adopted amendment #232 as modified (Russia sanctions) to S. 722, Iran Sanctions, 97-2.

"In (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's calculus, the costs of the sanctions do not outweigh the benefits of occupying Crimea and contributing to unrest in Ukraine, continuing to support the Assad regime's assault on civilians in Syria, and conducting cyber-attacks on people, companies, and institutions", Crapo said in a floor speech supporting the amendment.

"I would hope to allow the diplomatic efforts to attempt to make some progress", Tillerson said earlier this week.

"We must not allow this kind of interference in our elections become a normal process", said Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

The Capitol building is seen as the US House of Representatives prepare for a planned vote on the American Health Care Act, promoted by House Republicans and the Trump administration to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act act known as Obamacare, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, March 24, 2017.

Amendment 232 has been attached to Bill 722 imposing sanctions against Iran, which the Senate is now debating.