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Congress reaches deal on Russia sanctions
Congress has finalized a bipartisan deal to force President Trump's hand on Russia sanctions, Congressional leaders announced Saturday.
By Wilson Soto
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Congress has finalized a bipartisan deal to force President Trump's hand on Russia sanctions, Congressional leaders announced Saturday. The proposal, which tightens sanctions on Russia and prohibits the White House from changing or undoing sanctions without Congress's approval, is scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.
The proposal is part of a larger bill that also imposes sanctions on Iran and North Korea. It had passed by a near-unanimous margin in the Senate, but it was held up for weeks in the House, where the Republican majority is much larger. The House bill's latest draft version makes some modifications to the Senate's, including a few concessions to oil and gas companies.
"I welcome the House bill, which is the product of intense negotiations," said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
Neither proposal version has the support of the White House. Trump administration officials had urged Congress to drop the proposal as they need flexibility to change or adjust sanctions to fit the president's diplomatic strategy with Moscow. By finalizing a bipartisan bill and scheduling a vote, House GOP leaders defied the White House on the issue.
But Trump is unlikely to veto the bill, senior administration officials told the New York Times. They said that Trump would be under too much pressure not to, given the political climate. Also, the proposal's inclusion in a bill for Iran and North Korea sanctions means that Trump cannot veto the Russia deal without also vetoing action against Iran and North Koreatwo nations that he has frequently vowed to punish for their prohibited weapons-development programs and other actions.