As tensions in Congress continue, a bipartisan group of senators are asking President Donald Trump to get their approval prior to easing any U.S. sanctions against Russia.
The Russia Sanctions Review Act was born as Democrats and some Republicans worry that in the President’s efforts to improve the previously contentious relationship between the two countries, he may lift the penalties for the controversial country.
The top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, said, “The president will have to engage us. And we hope that in engaging us, there will be much more support for the president’s policies and it won’t just be done by tweet or by spur of the moment comment.”
According to Cardin, the bill was modeled after previous legislation that Republicans pushed and approved, which required a congressional vote on whether former President Barack Obama could lift sanctions against Iran.
While the Russia sanctions bill has the support of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., some Republicans are concerned that supporting the bill may appear to the President that they are undermining him.
“It’s not an attack against President Trump. This is basically to re-establish ourselves,” Cardin said of the bill.
Bill co-sponsors Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have been two of the Republican parties hardest critics of the President. McCain, who spoke to the Senate on Tuesday, said that Putin is a “killer” and that there is “no moral equivalence” between the United States and Russia.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary crime and terrorism subcommittee, is leading an investigation of America’s 2016 elections and Russia’s involvement in it.
In a statement on Wednesday, Graham said, “Russia has done nothing to be rewarded with sanctions relief. To provide relief at this time would send the wrong signal to Russia and our allies who face Russian oppression.”
H/T: ABC News
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