Friday, 20 October, 2017

White House Wants More Flexible Russia-Sanctions Deal From Congress

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire was amogn the Democrats promoting the bill which passed by an overwhelming 97-2 margin Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire was amogn the Democrats promoting the bill which passed by an overwhelming 97-2 margin
Howard Terry | 20 June, 2017, 00:48

The U.S. Senate voted to increase sanctions on Russian Federation, and give Congress the power to review any attempt by President Donald Trump to unilaterally lift them, a rebuke of the president's suggestions that the U.S. improve relations with the country.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told CNN that "we moved to make the Congress, not the President, the final arbiter of sanctions relief when necessary". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a Senate panel Tuesday he was wary of actions that could interfere with the administration's efforts to improve relations with Russian Federation.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders the following day criticized the sanctions package.

As a result, Trump would have to reject new sanctions against Iran, which he supports, to derail the latest congressional effort to punish Russian Federation.

Mr. Putin said there was no reason to impose new sanctions and said at the heart of the new measures was the controversy in the USA around contacts between President Donald Trump's campaign team and Russian officials. Then it will be brought before US President Donald Trump, who will have to either sign or vetoit.

The new measures are presented in the form of an amendment to the draft law on the application of sanctions against Iran.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Wednesday released the following statement after the Senate overwhelmingly passed an amendment to strengthen and expand current U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation during consideration of the Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, which was authored by Senator Corker and is expected to pass the Senate this week.

Both Democratic and Republican members placed politics aside to offer prayers, support and camaraderie Wednesday, in an unusual show of unity on Capitol Hill.

The House has yet to take up the measure, which is an amendment to a bill that tightens sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile tests.

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. "I find as we get to the finish line on these bills, every administration generally joins us ... so I think we'll have the support of the administration".

"We would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue", Tillerson said.

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