Overwhelming Majority in US Senate Votes to Continue Russia Sanctions

The bill if it passes in the House would give Obama-era sanctions the force of law ¿ and prevent President Donald Trump from easing them

The Crapo Amendment on Russian Federation mostly was created to prevent the president from removing any sanctions without Congressional permission, but quickly expanded to include large new sanctions against mining and energy production within Russian Federation. It's not like the sanctions are a surprise to President Putin, who has been following the anti-Trump hysteria in Washington fairly closely.

The measure is meant to punish Russian Federation for meddling in the 2016 US election, its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and support for Syria's government in the six-year-long civil war.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are debating parallel legislation, though it is unclear whether it would be met with the same bipartisan support as it did in the Senate, which would be required in order to survive a potential veto.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) hailed the lopsided vote in favor of the Iran sanctions bill that he helped shepherd to passage with the Russian Federation measure attached, but he stopped short of echoing previous predictions that Trump would sign the combined sanctions legislation once it clears the House.

Linking the Russian Federation sanctions to Iran measures will make it more hard for US President Donald Trump to take actions to ease sanctions on Russian Federation and would prohibit the president from doing so without Congress' approval.

Sen. Lindsey Graham's resolution passed 100-0 after Trump waffled on his commitment to Article 5.

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In a 98-2 vote, the Senate approved tougher measures against Iran's ballistic missile program, due to the country's support for terrorist groups and its record on human rights.

Corker told reporters that "I only have talked a little bit with" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who testified twice this week that the White House would prefer "flexibility" to adjust Russian Federation sanctions as needed.

A day earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a plea for patience from lawmakers in relation to Russian Federation, saying the administration feared being "handcuffed" by the new measure. Rand Paul (R -KY) and Bernie Sanders (I - VT). In a series of tweets, Kerry urged lawmakers to "tread carefully" in pushing ahead with new Iran sanctions in the wake of President Hassan Rouhani's re-election to another four-year term.

Trump announced at a news conference last week that he would support Article 5 after he failed to mention it in a speech at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters last month.

Bernie Sanders. Sanders says he's anxious the legislation, which also includes sanctions against Iran, could hurt the Iranian nuclear deal. It would require the administration to explain any moves to ease or lift sanctions, and create a new mechanism for Congress to review and block any such effort.

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