US Congress Passes Sanctions Bill Curbing Trump’s Power
In an overwhelming bipartisan vote, The House of Representatives overwhemingly passed a bill giving congress the power to block any effort by the White House to weaken sanctions on Russia, offering a direct challenge to President Donald Trump’s authority
This is coming just as the U.S. intelligence community concluded that Moscow had sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Lawmakers passed the legislation, 419-3, clearing the far-reaching measure for action by the Senate. If senators move quickly, the bill could be ready for Trump’s signature before Congress exits Washington for its regular August recess. The Senate, like the House, is expected to pass the legislation by a veto-proof margin.
The bill also slaps Iran and North Korea with sanctions.
Trump hasn’t threatened to reject the bill even though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior administration officials had objected to a mandated congressional review should the president attempt to ease or lift the sanctions on Russia. They’ve argued it would infringe on the president’s executive authority and tie his hands as he explores avenues of communication and cooperation between the two former Cold War foes.
Many lawmakers view Russia as the nation’s top strategic adversary and believe more sanctions, not less, put the U.S. in a position of strength in any negotiations with Moscow.