Senate GOP, Dems agree on new sanctions on Russian Federation

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee | Brendan Smialowski  AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before the hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee | Brendan Smialowski AFP via Getty Images

The senators presented the deal as a separate Iran sanctions bill, under debate by the Legislature.

"If you get along and if Russian Federation is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody's doing some really great things?" he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "But we haven't passed a bill", he told reporters.

In order to become law, the Russia Sanctions Review Act would have to pass the House of Representatives, which has become easy after the bipartisan deal. "I think we're there. It's basically set up much like we've done on other places", Corker said said. Since 2014, the US has leveled sanctions against Russian Federation, citing a laundry list of Moscow's violations, including its interference in Ukraine and Crimea, its supplying of weapons to Syrian President Bashar Assad, and more recently its attempts to influence the 2016 presidential elections. The legislation is said to be part of an amendment to the underlying Iran sanctions bill.

Both proposals could be voted this week, a significant shift from last month, when the Republican leaders seemed reluctant to move forward on sanctions against Moscow.

"That to us would be the wrong signal".

A spokesman for Cardin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Corker's comments. "Lindsey Graham R-S.C. "(Putin) put the opposition leader in jail today.

The Iran bill is due come up for a vote as soon as this week. Lawmakers have been tightlipped about the details of their negotiations, which have sparked a frenzy of meetings around Capitol Hill.

The measure also gives Congress 30 days to review or potentially block Trump in case he decides to lift or ease the sanctions. Imposing more sanctions could lead the Russians to curtail the dialogue. Sherrod Brown of the Banking Committee and Tennessee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

While Maryland's Senator Ben Cardin admitted to reporters that "there's no administration that wants Congress interfering" with its sanctions, he believes "we'll have the support of the administration" for any bipartisan Russian Federation deal that might pass this week. Text of the amendment wasn't immediately released but the statement from the four senators cited Russia's meddling with last year's election, as well as its actions in Ukraine and Syria.

Top lawmakers on two committees — Banking and Foreign Relations — announced the deal late Monday. Both have said that sanctions will not be relaxed until Russian Federation leaves Crimea.

The Trump administration has sent mixed signals on Russian Federation, and Trump's warmer tone toward Moscow has drawn bipartisan backlash. The House would then have to approve it before it goes to Trump. That report comes on the heels of a classified NSA document leaked to the Intercept last week, which revealed Russian government hackers cyberattacked at least one USA voting system before the US presidential election.

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