United States 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 and bar President Donald Trump from easing sanctions on Moscow without Congress’ approval.
Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday that he and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had reached an agreement that removed the last obstacle to passing the bill. The measure hits the three US foes with additional penalties.
“I am glad to announce that we have reached an agreement that will allow us to send sanctions legislation to the president’s desk,” Corker said.
The House had overwhelmingly approved the legislation on Tuesday, 419-3. But Corker had objected to including the sanctions targeting Pyongyang in the legislation.
He wanted to keep the North Korea penalties in a separate bill that the Senate would consider. But Corker dropped his objections. He said the Senate will “move to approve” the House-passed bill after receiving assurances the North Korea sections would be fine-tuned at a later date.
“Going forward, the House has committed to expeditiously consider and pass enhancements to the North Korea language, which multiple members of the Senate hope to make in the very near future,” he said.
Russia punished for alleged election meddling
The sanctions against Moscow are punishment for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.
According to the bill, Trump would be barred from easing the Russia sanctions without first getting permission from Congress, a demand that could imperil his bid for better relations with Moscow.
A version of the sanctions legislation that only addressed Russia and Iran cleared the Senate nearly six weeks ago with 98 votes.