Senate passes Russian Federation sanctions bill, pushing back against Trump

Cheryl Sanders
June 19, 2017

Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., joined Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as the only two legislators voting against the new bill.

Lawmakers also voted overwhelmingly earlier on Thursday to add provision to the bill allowing the US space agency NASA to continue using Russian-made rocket engines and reaffirming the usa commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance. John McCain of Arizona.

If the president wants to lift the sanctions, then he must go to Congress for permission.

The new Iran restrictions, which impose mandatory sanctions on people involved with the Islamic republic's ballistic missile program and those that transact with them.

During the hearing Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson urged senators to oppose the measure so that Trump and his administration would have "the flexibility to turn the heat up" if necessary.

Known as the Crapo Amendment, after Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the measure was endorsed by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland).


The measure also requires Congress to review any effort by the Trump administration to loosen sanctions on Russian Federation.

The Trump administration is reviewing the Senate measure, according to a White House official, who asked for anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had agreed "with the sentiment" of holding Russian Federation accountable but had urged Congress not to pass any legislation that could harm a "constructive dialogue" with Moscow.

During his presidency, Barack Obama placed restrictions on Russian Federation for the annexation of Crimea and tampering with the 2016 us presidential election.

The White House has not said whether Trump would sign the bill, raising the possibility of a veto standoff.

The sanctions place restrictions on those aiding Russian Federation or Syria as well as on the Trump administration.


Today's vote was the most significant blow the Republican President has received from the Republican Congress.

Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of meddling in the United States election.

The measure covers new sanctions on Russia's mining, energy, metals, railways and shipping projects as well as punitive actions against Russian cyber threat actors and the country's involvement in weapons delivery to Syrian government.

Under the legislation, new sanctions could be levied on entities engaging in "malicious cyber activity".

"Today the Senate has finally confronted Russian Federation for interfering in our elections", said Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a leader of the push for the legislation.


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