Following “intense negotiations,” House Republicans and Democrats have reached agreement on legislation that would prevent the Trump administration from acting unilaterally to relieve or remove sanctions on Russia.
On Saturday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced the House will vote Tuesday on the Russia, Iran and North Korea Sanctions Act.
Procedural challenges caused the legislation to become stalled in the House following its June passage in the Senate by a vote of 98-2.
For weeks, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland has been working with McCarthy to compromise on the bill that was unveiled Saturday.
Hoyer said he was “pleased that both parties in the House and Senate have reached agreement on sanctions legislation that will hold Russia and Iran accountable for their destabilizing actions” around the world.
“The legislation ensures that both the Majority and Minority are able to exercise our oversight role over the Administration’s implementation of sanctions,” Hoyer said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Saturday that he expects the House and Senate to act on the legislation “promptly” under an expedited process that requires a two-thirds majority for passage, which will also render the bill veto-proof.
“Given the many transgressions of Russia, and President Trump’s seeming inability to deal with them, a strong sanctions bill such as the one Democrats and Republicans have just agreed to is essential,” Schumer said.
Lawmakers had been urged by the White House to dilute the provisions in the legislation limiting its powers to lift sanctions, but not accommodated in the bill.
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the agreement on the revised legislation means “a nearly united Congress is poised to send President [Vladimir] Putin a clear message on behalf of the American people and our allies, and we need President Trump to help us deliver that message.”
Also voicing his support for the bipartisan legislation, ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said, “This tough, comprehensive sanctions bill holds North Korea and Iran accountable for their actions and sends a clear message to Moscow that the United States will not tolerate Russian attacks on democracy — from interference in our elections to aggression in Ukraine.”
If passed, the Russia, Iran and North Korea Sanctions Act would impose additional sanctions against North Korea and prohibit U.S. businesses from working on or supporting energy projects in which Russian companies are involved.
The procedural challenge which stalled the bill in the House was also resolved. The previous legislation passed by the Senate was said to have violated the origination clause of the Constitution, dictating that bills that raise revenue for the government must originate in the House.
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