Republican and Democratic senators have reached a bipartisan deal that would allow Congress to review and potentially reject any attempts by President Trump to lift sanctions on Russia, Politico reports. The deal would also add new sanctions to Russia.
"Throughout these negotiations, Democrats have insisted that a Russia sanctions amendment accomplishes three things: Codify the existing sanctions in law, impose tough new sanctions in response to Russian meddling in our elections, and give Congress a process to review whether they should be lifted," explained Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who negotiated the deal with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Tensions are high between Congress and the White House, with Trump reportedly considering easing sanctions on Russia in exchange for cooperation from Russian President Vladimir Putin on anti-terrorism campaigns, Bloomberg Politics reports. Trump could technically veto the deal, which curbs his executive powers, although Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D) said that he doubted the White House would choose to make any moves against a bipartisan Russia agreement.
The deal is tied to an Iran sanctions bill, with McConnell moving a vote on the Russia amendment to Wednesday. "By codifying existing sanctions and requiring congressional review of any decision to weaken or lift them, we are ensuring that the United States continues to punish [Putin] for his reckless and destabilizing actions," Schumer said.