WH to Lobby House GOP on Softening Senate Bill on Moscow Sanctions

WH to Lobby House GOP on Softening Senate Bill on Moscow Sanctions

Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker had pumped the breaks on the Russian Federation sanctions bill weeks ago, per the request of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Trump administration was "committed to existing sanctions against Russia" but was "still reviewing the new Russian Federation sanctions amendment".

The White House has been silent on the proposal and administration officials have been unclear on what the official position is. Trump has said he wants to improve U.S. -Russia relations and has expressed foreign policy views on a number of topics that are friendlier to Russian interests than the policies of past U.S. administrations.

The underlying bill imposed new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program and support for global terrorism.

Under the legislation, new sanctions could be levied on entities engaging in "malicious cyber activity".

The legislation was filed as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill. They also target Russia's shipping, mining, and railway industries.

"But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015", Sanders added.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the Senate bill's cosponsors, told reporters on Wednesday that the White House was already lobbying against the measure, Business Insider reported. Bob Corker saying: "Look, this bill is going to become law".

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called it as "bipartisan as it gets". The libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only other "no" vote against the bill.

"We can not let Russia's meddling in our elections go unpunished, lest they ever consider such interference again, nor any other nation in the world", said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

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

"The amendment to the underlying Iran sanctions bill maintains and substantially expands sanctions against the government of Russian Federation in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyberattacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria", said Republicans and Democrats on the committees.

"It's past time for us to take steps to protect the interests of the United States and our allies".

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