US Senate Overwhelmingly Backs Stronger Sanctions Against Russia, Iran

Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, the second member who voted against the sanctions amendment, said that sanctions against Iran or Russian Federation are like “tweaking their nose” and not effective.

However, aides in both the Senate and the House said they expected support for the bill would be strong enough to override a Trump veto if necessary. The sanctions are in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, cyber-attacks and interference in elections and continuing aggression in Syria.

The Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to enact new sanctions against Russian Federation and make it hard for President Donald Trump to lift them. The two “no” senators were Republicans Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

In another challenge to Trump’s foreign policy, the measure also “reaffirm the strategic importance” of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Russia sanctions amendment was added to an Iranian sanctions bill on the Senate floor after a deal was struck earlier this week between the Republican and Democratic heads of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-author of the bill, said he’s been updating the State Department.

President Donald Trump’s administration may work with House Republicans to ease tough sanctions on Russian Federation that passed with an overwhelming 98-2 bipartisan majority in the Senate, Politico reported.

These sanctions have been added to a bill – under debate and nearly certain to win passage – aimed at toughening sanctions against Iran for what the bill calls its support of worldwide terrorist acts.

Lawmakers have long sought to hit Iran with more sanctions in order to check its ballistic missile program and rebuke Tehran’s continued support for terrorist groups.

It comes amid concerns that members of Mr Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russian Federation over the election.

At the same time, he also said he doesn’t want to preemptively shut down a potentially productive conversation.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of OH, the top Democrat on the Banking Committee, said Trump’s failure to act could embolden Russian Federation and lead to interference in future USA elections.

However, the legislation also restricts the White House from easing sanctions without congressional approval, reports the Guardian. Certain Russian industries, like its mining and metals industries, would also be targeted.

Though there’s little dispute over Russia’s interference in the election, questions remain over the objective and extent of the meddling.

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