The US Senate is bustling with activity once again, and this time they are all up to put sanctions against Russia. The bill got through with an amazing 98-2 votes with Senators providing the Congress the authority to overpower Trump’s decision to lift the Russian sanctions. The legislation also includes sever new sanctions targeting Iran and North Korea.
Senator Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders were the only ones voting against the bill. Sanders explained his stance by tweeting, “following Trump’s comments that he won’t re-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement I worry new sanctions could endanger it.”
Responding to news of the Senate’s sanctions, Anthony Scaramucci – who recently feuded with the communications department and staff at the White House – commented, “he may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.”
Senators quickly responded that vetoing a bill that passed with such a strong majority could be catastrophic to Trump’s relationship with the Senate.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Bob Corker, talked with the President himself, and is of the opinion that Trump doesn’t intent to veto the sanctions bill. “It’s just not a good way to start a presidency to veto something and then be soundly overridden,” the Foreign Relations chairman told reporters. “It’s not something I would do, but they might choose to do it.”
The Trump administration has come into office, fostering the impression that it would work to improve US-Russia relations. A ratcheting-up of sanctions could severely jeopardize any progress.
Several senators had been working on their own North Korea bills and several of the senators were also interested in applying congressional review to sanctions already in place against the isolated country.
All eyes are set on Trump and Top Administration’s reaction and decisions on the sanctions and to see if congress successfully blocks Trump from lifting the sanctions or not.