Senate sanctions bill targets Russian Federation, presidential powers

The US Senate in Congress has voted almost unanimously to impose new sanctions against Iran and Russian Federation, setting up a possible confrontation with the administration of President Donald Trump as it attempts to improve relations with Moscow, PressTV reported.The Senate-passed sanctions bill also converts existing penalties against Moscow into law, potentially making them more hard to remove, and prevents the Trump administration from returning two Russian diplomatic compounds seized in December by the Obama administration as punishment for alleged electoral disruption.The bill establishes a review process for Congress to have a say whether the White House eases Russian Federation sanctions.The sanctions were meant to be a punishment for Russia’s meddling in Ukraine as well as pushback to the Moscow government’s attempts to interfere in the us election previous year, lawmakers said. Once the Iran bill passes the Senate, the legislation moves to the House for action.The sanctions would codify existing economic restrictions and place new ones in an effort to economically harm specific individuals and Russia’s economy.The bill, imposing another round of sanctions on Russian Federation, was passed in a 97-2 vote on Wednesday and is yet to be considered by the House of Representatives.Lawmakers advanced the measure just days after it was announced by Banking Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho and Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee, both of them Republicans belonging to Trump’s party, as well as the ranking Democrats on the those panels, Sherrod Brown of OH and Ben Cardin of Maryland.The White House is seeking to influence some GOP House members to ease up on the Senate-passed Russian Federation sanctions, hoping that the lower chamber will provide “administration-friendly” changes, according to Politico.Yet a short time after the 97 – 2 vote for the legislation, there was already word that the Trump administration was seeking to weaken the bill.To take effect, the measure would also have to pass the House of Representatives and be signed into law by President Donald Trump. Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders were the only two “no” votes.”I’m concerned about it, but I don’t really have the ability to dictate what the White House says to the House”, Virginia Sen. “I think there’s a lot going on that we’re simply not aware of”.The sanctions place restrictions on those aiding Russian Federation or Syria as well as on the Trump administration. USA intelligence reports have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyberattack with the intention of boosting Trump’s chance to win.