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News Worms


Senate Passes New Russian Sanctions Bill That Would Curb Trump's Power

Senate Passes New Russian Sanctions Bill That Would Curb Trump's Power

The bill passed 98-2, with Kentucky senator Rand Paul and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders voting against it. Lawmakers had overwhelmingly agreed on Wednesday to attach a batch of Russian Federation sanctions to the Iran bill, after calls from both sides of the aisle to push Kremlin-related sanctions through.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass sanctions against the regimes in Iran and Russian Federation, targeting the former for its ballistic missile program and the latter for its aggressive cyber war against the United States.

They also agreed, by 97-2, to set up a process by which Congress can block any attempt by President Trump to scale back those sanctions.

If it passes the House, President Donald Trump would have to either sign or veto a bill that the White House has had little response to so far.

The new bill would slap sanctions on companies in other countries looking to invest in those projects in the absence of US companies, a practice known as backfilling. The libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only other "no" vote against the bill.

Voted for by 98 senators and only two were against.

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee first approved the sanctions Monday night, with the former breaking away from the president and his former campaign facing investigations into alleged links to Russian Federation before and after the election. Congressional committees and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are examining the Russian interference and whether there was any collusion with Trump's campaign.

Asked where Tillerson stood on the legislation, Corker said he wasn't sure, but noted that the bill "strikes a great balance" between executive and legislative power. Broad new sanctions would be imposed on Russia's mining, metals, shipping and railways sectors.

"It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common goal, and with action", said Republican Senator John McCain. "This bipartisan amendment is the sanctions regime that the Kremlin deserves for its actions", said Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a leader of the push for the legislation.

In addition to new sanctions, the bill would prevent President Trump from lifting sanctions on Russian Federation without congressional approval.

"We see destabilizing act after destabilizing act [by Iran], from missile launches to arms transfers to terrorist training to illicit financial activities to targeting Navy ships and detaining American citizens", said the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee.

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