Russia revelations raise hopes for US sanctions bill


The bipartisan bill, which passed the Senate 98-2 a month ago, has been bogged down by partisan squabbling in the House.

A spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan advised that Democrats agree to the changes already agreed to by the Senate.

The Senate passed the Iran and Russian Federation sanctions measure last month but the House parliamentarian ruled that late-added language violated the Origination Clause of the Constitution, creating a so-called blue slip issue.

"I'm a Russian Federation hawk".

Both Ryan and McCarthy said they were told that United States companies had passed the legislative framework for specific energy sanctions, oil and gas producers said, could hurt American companies and strengthen Russia's interests. "We want to get this done and get this fixed and get this moving as quickly as possible".

Top Democratic senators warned President Trump's officials ahead of bilateral talks next week not to give back Russia's diplomatic compounds in NY and Maryland that were seized amid revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In a similar vein, Congressman Bill Pascrell said he would introduce a Resolution of Inquiry to force the release of Trump's tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee.

"Right now, we have a procedural issue", and Republicans are working with Democrats regarding sending the bill back to the Senate, Ryan told reporters at a news conference.

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"I think it's important that we get to the bottom of all of this", Ryan said, adding that he supports special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, as well as the parallel investigations being conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees.

To hear President Donald Trump tell it, the slow start in filling out his administration is entirely the fault of Democrats. Even if he did veto it, the Senate vote suggests Congress could override it.

Trump tweeted Sunday that sanctions against Russian Federation were not discussed at his meeting with Putin.

Later this month, a meeting will take place between the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, with the hope of reaching a compromise.

"Look, I'm not going into hypotheticals, only because I think it's important that we get to the bottom of all of this", Ryan said. "This is grandstanding and not a serious effort to resolve this issue and hold Russian Federation accountable". "And if he puts the Senate bill on the floor, we will support it".

"I think the events of the last week only underscore the urgency of getting it passed", said Rep. Adam Schiff (R., Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee that is examining Russian meddling in the election. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, heralded the review requirement as the proper exercise of congressional authority. "Every day that goes by around here, mischief can happen".

The Trump administration has pushed for changes to the Senate's Russian Federation sanctions bill, particularly over the provision that gives Congress veto power if the White House eases sanctions on Russian Federation. "This could come up in an instant if there was a will to do it".

Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian interference with the USA election, as are at least four congressional committees. Any attempts to alter the legislation would face stiff opposition from congressional Democrats and even a large number of Republicans due to their wariness over Trump's desire for better relations with Moscow.