New Senate Bill Could Hinder Trump’s Relations with Russia
A 98-2 vote on Thursday approved a list of sanctions to penalize Russia for tampering in the 2016 US presidential election. This bill also possessed a suite of sanctions facing Iran.
The bill will make it difficult for Trump to ease out the relationship with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The bill states the following:
1. Impose new sanctions on: corrupt Russian actors; those seeking to evade sanctions; those involved in serious human rights abuses; those supplying weapons to the Assad regime; those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government; those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets; and those doing business with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors.
2. Allow broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways.
3. Authorize robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference.
4. Require a study on the flow of illicit finance involving Russia and a formal assessment of U.S. economic exposure to Russian state-owned entities.
“We moved to make the Congress, not the President, the final arbiter of sanctions relief when necessary,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The bill also had two congressmen who voted against the bill, considering the ‘unwarranted’ additional sanctions against Iran.
The bill is yet to be approved by the House and President Trump, who have to approve the bill for it to become the law, post-Senate approval.
Sen. Ben Cardin tells CNN, “I would be very, very surprised if the president vetoes this bill. Now, he’s surprised me on a lot of things. 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. I’m confident about that.”
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