Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

The sanctions would codify existing economic restrictions and place new ones in an effort to economically harm specific individuals and Russia's economy.

The decisive bipartisan vote could put the Trump administration in a bind.

The addition of Russian sanctions to the bill was a rebuke to the president because it would prohibit the president from being able to lift them without Congressional approval.

"After eight years of failed foreign policy under the Obama Administration - eight years of following the Obama administration's preferred strategy of drawing down both our forces and commitments - we must take a stronger stance in deterring Iran and holding its regime accountable for its actions and addressing Russia's yearslong pattern of provocations", McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Tillerson's comments marked a shift from the stance he took at a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers in Brussels in March, when he said the USA wouldn't ease sanctions on Russian Federation unless it met its commitments under the Minsk deal.

The legislation, which now moves to the House, also gives Capitol Hill a much stronger hand in determining Russian Federation sanctions policy. Bernie Sanders. Sanders says he's anxious the legislation, which also includes sanctions against Iran, could hurt the Iranian nuclear deal. The measure also would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

The Senate legislation imposes sanctions on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

GOP, Dem governors agree with Trump, call health bill 'mean'
The amendment's primary sponsor says he doesn't know if the Senate will include the change in their version - and hasn't asked. An Obamacare replacement that cuts costs, adds choices and improves access to health care won't wilt in congressional sunlight.

It also aims to punish Russia´s Vladimir Putin for interfering in last year´s USA election, and to make it tougher for the White House to roll back sanctions.

The Senate also passed two amendments before approving the bill.

The penalties have been criticized by Austria and Germany for promoting US economic interests.

In a joint statement, Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel cited a section of the sanctions bill that calls for the United States to continue to oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea.

"What we have heard from experts in the intel community: They've warned us that if Russian Federation gets a pass on this, that it will interfere in future USA elections", Shaheen says.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire adds that it was important to send a bipartisan message to the Kremlin, which she says tried to undermine US elections.

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