The Trump administration reportedly wants to throw the so-called "sanctions from hell" back where they came from, The Daily Beast reports.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who — despite generally aligning with President Trump on domestic matters — has been known to stray when it comes to foreign policy, introduced legislation earlier this year that would place new, heavier sanctions on Russian individuals and companies as punishment for Moscow targeting Ukraine, attacking dissidents, and interfering in the 2016 U.S. election, as well its activities in Syria. But the White House has joined various business groups in arguing the proposal goes too far.
In a 22-page letter, a State Department official reportedly said the administration "strongly opposes" the bill because it "risks crippling the global energy, commodities, financial, and other markets." Additionally, the White House believes it could hit closer to home and harm American banks and asset managers operating in Russia.
The sanctions also would require the intelligence community to report to Congress every 90 days about whether the Kremlin is meddling in U.S. elections, which the Trump administration reportedly considers "impossible" to certify.
The bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor, though it's unclear if or when that will take place. Graham said he's willing to work with his fellow senators to make some changes to the bill so that it becomes more palatable, but it still "must be strong to be meaningful." Read more at The Daily Beast.