Is Trump Too Soft On Russia? Senate Blocks President From Lifting Sanctions

Is Trump Too Soft On Russia? Senate Blocks President From Lifting Sanctions

The amendment, which includes new sanctions on the Kremlin over human rights violations and meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is attached to an Iran sanctions bill that could pass as soon as this week, making it more hard for President Trump to veto the legislation.

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday for new sanctions punishing Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 US election, and to force President Donald Trump to get Congress’ approval before easing any existing sanctions.

Anyone who has hoped that the relations between the United States and Russian Federation would improve significantly under the Trump administration, can lock their hopes behind closed doors and throw the key away.

USA senators reached an agreement on Monday on legislation imposing new sanctions on Russian Federation, including a provision that would prevent the White House from easing, suspending or ending sanctions without congressional approval.

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.

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. Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky were the only “no” votes.

It then heads to the House of Representatives. They would cement the Ukraine sanctions and impose new economic restrictions on “corrupt Russian actors”, officials involved in human rights abuses, suppliers of weapons to the Syrian government and anyone who conducts “malicious cyberactivity on behalf of the Russian government”.

The proposal is tacked on as an amendment to a bill about sanctions on Iran.

The sanctions are “focused on various areas, including the Russian intelligence and defense sectors, parts of its energy sector, and its metals, mining and railways economy”, according to the Washington Post.

The anti-Iran sanctions come following two sets of sanctions that were rolled out in February and May by the US Treasury Department over Iran’s missile program. Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said at the time that the measure was styled after 2015 legislation pushed by Republicans and approved overwhelmingly in the Senate that gave Congress a vote on whether Obama could lift sanctions against Iran.