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US Lower House Passes Russia Sanctions Bill

  • 2018-08-01 17:54
  • 아시아뉴스통신=Timothy Montales 기자
Photo by: Miles530 via Wikimedia Commons
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted for the passage of a bill that gives Congress the power to restrict President Donald Trump from waiving penalties against Russia without the its approval.

Lawmakers enacted a sanctions legislation against Russia, Iran, and North Korea by an overwhelming vote of 419-3.As part of the legislative process, the bill will now be endorsed to the Senate, although it remains to be seen whether or not the Senate will also adopt the measure.According to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, he may want to introduce some minor changes to the bill, which was negotiated between the two chambers of the bicameral legislature after the initial version he prepared sailed through on a 98-2 vote.

"This is a strong, bipartisan bill that will increase the United States' economic and political leverage," Rep.Ed Royce said in an interview.

The proposed measure immediately came hours after Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and political adviser, testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the possible Russian interference during the US electoral season.During the House panel, Kushner vehemently denied denied any wrongdoing. “I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” he said.

Rep.Eliot Engel, D-New York, a Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that he knows the inhibitions expressed by some senators about the bill, which he attributed to their "ego" because some members of the Senate preferred their version of the bill over that of the House.Engel added that he will urge Corker and Cardin, the top Democrats on the Senate committee, to advance the proposal.In response, Corker said in an interview that the Senate might want to introduce minor changes in the bill, especially with respect to the portion relative to North Korea.

Lawmakers from both houses of the Congress said that they intend pass the bill swiftly and get it to the President's desk before a scheduled summer congressional recess.However, there are doubts on whether or not this plan will push through, considering the Senate’s present focus on the health care legislation.

The White House responded with conflicting messages on the House proposal.According to Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the President has supported the new bill.However, Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci issued an entirely different statement, saying that the President needed to weigh in on the issue.Trump has yet to comment on the issue.

Members of Congress from both parties say that there will be sufficient votes to override Trump’s veto should the latter decide to return the sanctions legislation to Congress.
The three votes against the bill came from Republicans -- Rep.Justin Amash of Michigan, Rep.Tom Massie of Kentucky, and Rep.John Duncan of Tennessee.

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