This Saturday, lawmakers in Washington passed a “sweeping sanctions deal” which leaves out the changes President Trump sought in order to ease Obama-era sanctions on Russia.
As POLITICO reports, the deal also includes Iran and North Korea and is set for a vote in the House this Tuesday and is expected to pass with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate. The measure is a major bipartisan achievement and a direct refutation of the President.
The White House had pressed to dilute the bill’s provisions empowering Congress to block Trump from easing or ending sanctions against Russia, but its request fell on deaf ears among Republican leaders.
“I believe the proposed changes to the bill have helped to clarify the intent of members of Congress as well as express solidarity with our closest allies in countering Russian aggression and holding the Kremlin accountable for their destabilizing activities,” the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s top Democrat, Ben Cardin (MD) said in a statement.
“A nearly united Congress is poised to send President Putin a clear message on behalf of the American people and our allies, and we need President Trump to help us deliver that message,” he added.
The deal ensures that Congress will not review minor and routine licenses for businesses seeking to partner with Russian entities. Oil and gas companies “had asked for a 50-percent interest threshold for sanctioned Russian entities before penalties kicked in on joint projects, the final agreement set a 33-percent threshold,” according to POLITICO.
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