Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

US Close to Deal on Russia Sanctions Bill

US Close to Deal on Russia Sanctions Bill

As new information comes to light about possible ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials, the House of Representatives is caught up in a debate over how much authority to give the president to potentially ease sanctions against Moscow.

"What our concern is, is that the legislation we believe sets an unusual precedent of delegating foreign policy to 535 members of Congress by not including certain national security waivers that have always been consistently part of sanctions bills in the past", White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short told reporters this month.

House Speaker Paul Ryan dodged a question Wednesday related to Donald Trump Jr.'s emails revealing details of a meeting with a Russian lawyer who purportedly offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton, but the Wisconsin Republican said, "it is absolutely unacceptable that Russia - or any other country" to "meddle in our elections". "We need to follow the facts", she said.

The House will take up the bill on the 11th when it returns. "We want to move this Russian Federation sanctions bill". "But she has now been waiting since May 23rd for a vote on the Senate floor", the White House official said.

Ryan and other House GOP leaders are pointing to Democrats for blocking unanimous consent to send the bill to the Senate.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce of California told CNN that the North Korea addition was one of several options still under consideration as House Republican leaders consider how to deal with the Senate's Russian Federation sanctions bill.

He said the delays are hurting the American people and these obstruction tactics are carried out in the name of resisting the Trump administration and playing to a radical left-wing base.

The House passed a new package of sanctions on North Korea in May by 419-1, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, said on Thursday his committee would be taking it up soon. The White House and the Kremlin have denied there was any interference in the election.

Have House Republicans chose to act on the overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate bill - or are they just getting pushed into it by House Democrats at a very tricky political moment? He calls on Democrats to submit the draft bill, on a serious effort to resolve the issue.

Donald Trump Jr. eagerly agreed past year to meet a woman he believed was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic White House nominee Hillary Clinton, as part of Moscow's official support for his father, according to emails released on Tuesday. Slovenia, which has joined sanctions against Russian Federation for its annexation of Crimea and meddling in Ukraine, has been very careful to portray Putin's visit on Saturday as strictly informal and not against the European Union policies. "This is a smokescreen to a bill that needs to get done now".

Cardin said the Bill should have been passed because of Russian interference in last year's USA elections, occupation of parts of Ukraine and Georgia and support of the Syrian government. Sanctions on Iran were also included in the bill.

An aide to Ryan did not immediately specify his concerns.

"There are some policy issues with respect to making sure that we don't actually inadvertently help Russian oligarchs and oil firms", Ryan said. "Will we get to vote on the bill that came out of the Senate or will we vote on a watered-down version?"

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