US Senate passes new Iran-Russia sanctions

Angie Massey
June 18, 2017

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.

The new sanctions, passed by a 98-2 vote, was also so far one of the strongest us congressional responses to alleged Russian meddling of the 2016 usa presidential election.

The question of new Russian sanctions has been raised by a number of senators in both parties after the intelligence community announced in January its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the USA further sanctions would damage relations, though stopped short of saying how the Russian government would respond in kind.

This new bill would also give sanctions imposed by then president Barack Obama via an executive order the full force of law.

The measure also asserts a role for Congress if the White House opts to ease any sanctions against Moscow.

Republican senators said Tuesday they expected Trump to sign the bill, which will still need to be passed in the House before it goes to the President's desk.

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The power would allow congress to strengthen those sanctions in retaliation for Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 election and its actions in Syria.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of OH, the top Democrat on the Banking Committee, said Trump's failure to act could embolden Russian Federation and lead to interference in future US elections.

The bill also includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile programme and other activities not related to the worldwide nuclear agreement reached with the U.S. and other world powers.

It's not clear what exact changes the White House wants to make to the bill, or that those changes would actually weaken the proposed penalties against Russian Federation, but Senate Democrats have been attempting to sound an alarm over just that possibility.

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).

Under the amendment, any executive sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by the Obama administration can not be lifted without congressional review.

But lawmakers attached a bipartisan amendment on Russian Federation to it early this week.

Other reports by GizPress

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