White House's ill-timed knock on Russian Federation sanctions

Adjust Comment Print

The addition of the House's North Korean sanctions bill would be yet another twist for the Senate's legislation that includes both Russian Federation and Iranian sanctions, which passed 98-2 one month ago.

But to go around Democrats on the issue of moving the bill back to the Senate for approval, which is usually accomplished through unanimous consent, would be to challenge longstanding House precedent.

The Russia package, written as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill, puts into law sanctions previously established through presidential executive order, including some on Russian energy projects and debt financing.

The House rules committee made the first batch of 85 amendments in order Tuesday evening, with only a couple dealing with Russian Federation, and none of the amendments tied to Trump's businesses.

Ashley Etienne, a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said that Democrats have been demanding for weeks, to no avail, that the House Republican leadership bring the sanctions bill to the floor for a vote.

But Democrats are furious at the change, which they see as a last-minute effort by one of the president's closest allies in Congress to derail the Russia-Iran sanctions bill just as congressional leaders had agreed on a way to resolve their differences.

The administration officials, who were career civil servants, expressed concerns during the meeting about the congressional review provisions in the bill, which would give Congress veto power if the White House tries to loosen sanctions on Russian Federation, according to the staffers. The Senate GOP is facing a slim margin for passage, with a couple of lawmakers already saying they won't approve it. Trump said he'll be at his desk, "pen in hand!" to sign the bill if it passes.

According to the US Constitution, any bill that raises revenue for the US government must originate in the House of Representatives.

Indians killed in Saudi Arabia house fire
The fire broke out due to short circuit in an old air-conditioning unit, according to primary information. The Najran governor has ordered a probe into the incident, the Arab News reported.

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.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat, Maryland Sen. He responded in one email, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer".

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., reacting to McCarthy's proposal Friday, said: "We want to get this done as soon as possible, and I'm urging the majority to move quickly". Some Democrats had accused Trump's fellow Republicans of stalling the sanctions package at least until after that meeting, to please the president.

A Treasury spokesman told CNNMoney that the agency "takes responsiveness to congressional requests very seriously and is committed to providing useful and appropriate responses to requests from Congressional members".

"But weighing the equities, what was more important was passing the Russia-Iran sanctions bill", the California Democrat said.

"That's what Putin doesn't like about me", the USA president stated.

Still, the Tennessee senator stressed that the issue now was not about technicalities, but whether the House meant to take up the sanctions bill.

Comments