The Latest: New sanctions bill ready for Senate approval
Jul. 27, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House passage of legislation placing additional sanctions on Russia (all times local):
House and Senate Republicans have worked out a deal to move quickly on a package of new financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee says the agreement he and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy reached late Wednesday will allow Congress to pass the bill hitting the three U.S. foes with additional penalties.
The House overwhelmingly approved the legislation Tuesday, clearing the measure for action in the Senate.
But Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, objected to including the sanctions targeting Pyongyang in the legislation. He'd wanted to keep the North Korea sanctions in a separate bill.
Corker says he's dropped his objections. The Senate will pass the House-passed bill after receiving assurances the North Korea sections would be fine-tuned at a later date.
Legislation hitting Russia, Iran and North Korea with additional financial sanctions has a hit a snag in the Senate.
The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee is objecting to the House's decision to include penalties targeting Pyongyang in the bill.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker says he'd prefer to keep the North Korea sanctions in a separate measure that would be carefully considered by the Senate.
Corker says he's confident of a solution that ensures the bill becomes law. He says, "It's not going to become a calamity."
The last-minute hurdle may prevent passage of the legislation before Congress breaks for its August recess.
The House passed the sanctions package Tuesday by a vote of 419-3 vote. House GOP leaders are urging the Senate to act quickly.
The president of the European Union's executive arm is threatening unspecified action against the United States if a package of sanctions on Russia approved by U.S. lawmakers harms EU energy supplies.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement Wednesday that "the Commission concluded today that if our concerns are not taken into account sufficiently, we stand ready to act appropriately within a matter of days."
He adds in the statement: "America first cannot mean that Europe's interests come last."
The commission says that the sanctions package passed by the U.S. House could affect EU companies working on Russian pipelines that bring fuels like oil and gas to Europe. Juncker says the U.S, measure "could have unintended unilateral effects that impact the EU's energy security interests."
Eager to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election, the House has overwhelmingly backed a new package of sanctions against Moscow that prohibits President Donald Trump from waiving the penalties without first getting permission from Congress.
Lawmakers passed the legislation, 419-3, clearing the far-reaching measure for action by the Senate. If senators move quickly, the bill could be ready for Trump's signature before Congress exits Washington for its regular August recess. The Senate, like the House, is expected to pass the legislation by a veto-proof margin. The bill also slaps Iran and North Korea with sanctions.
The 184-page measure serves as a rebuke of the Kremlin's military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed President Bashar Assad. It aims to hit Putin and the oligarchs close to him by targeting Russian corruption, human rights abusers, and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports.