President Trump's road to easing sanctions targeting Russian Federation just became immensely more hard.
The bill, imposing another round of sanctions on Russian Federation, was passed in a 97-2 vote on Wednesday and is yet to be considered by the House of Representatives. Republicans not only joined Democrats in supporting the initiative, but also helped spearhead it.
Graham also introduced an amendment to the bill to reaffirm USA support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Article 5 of its charter, which promises common defense if any one North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member is attacked. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, told NPR. Among its cosponsors it counts an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, including prominent GOP leaders like Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker and Armed Services Committee chair John McCain. But if the president vetoes the legislation - after questioning whether Russian Federation did meddle in the election and amid the ongoing investigations - it could anger even Republicans and bring about an embarrassing override. The bill would require a congressional review if Trump attempts to ease or end penalties against Russian Federation.
The issue, as Mr Saunders pointed out, is the Senate bill expands sanctions on Russian Federation to include railway, mining, energy, and finance sectors and "the more you broaden [economic] sanctions, the larger the number of stakeholders" involved in those sanctions. Finally, it pledges to provide "robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries".
The White House has yet to announce its position on the legislation, and whether it approves of a process of congressional review that would essentially restrict the president s actions with regard to Putin s government.
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The bill as originally introduced was exclusively about slapping new sanctions on Iran. Putin seems content to sit back and watch as America tears itself apart with partisan witch hunts and hatred of the president. Two days later, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the motion.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are debating parallel legislation, though it is unclear whether it would be met with the same bipartisan support as it did in the Senate, which would be required in order to survive a potential veto.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in testimony on Capitol Hill this week said the Trump administration needs "flexibility" in its negotiations with the Russians and codifying sanctions takes away potential bargaining chips in those talks.
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