Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Ted Deutch pushes for House vote on Russian sanctions

Ted Deutch pushes for House vote on Russian sanctions

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday said he wants to move a strong bill regarding sanctions on Russian Federation as quickly as possible but that the legislation still faced procedural and policy hurdles.

The document was submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday evening, the Reuters news agency reported.

House Democrats say this latest change is another example of Republicans trying to protect Trump - if not now, by keeping the bill from coming to the floor, then later, if Trump potentially attempts to scale back USA sanctions against Russian Federation.

The bill was tabled by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representatives Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, and Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"You know me on this issue, I'm a Russia hawk, I believe in strong, bold Russian sanctions".

And he said any White House would prefer to conduct foreign policy without Congress, but the administration had not asked him to kill the bill.

Hoping to send a strong message to President Donald Trump, senior Democrats introduced an nearly identical sanctions bill that was passed 98-2 last June but has stalled since.

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, urged the House to act quickly.

"House Democrats are blocking that and demanding their own changes to the bill", AshLee Strong, national press secretary for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, said.

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A House Democratic leadership aide speculated Monday that Senate Democrats were either misled or so rushed to approve the fixes to the bill that they never fully apprised their House colleagues of the changes to House procedure. But Democrats can use the filibuster to slow down the process.

Further hitting out at the Democrats in the Senate, Short said they have delayed crucial appointments made by President Trump in an attempt to obstruct the will of the American people and the president's agenda.

Ryan has spoken in favor of the Senate sanctions bill but has not specifically pledged to bring it to the House floor intact, deferring instead to the House committees with jurisdiction over the matter.

The previous bill called for imposing "sanctions with respect to Iran in relation to Iran's ballistic missile programme, support for acts of worldwide terrorism, and violations of human rights, and for other purposes".

Because of this, the administration has been silent in lobbying at the Capitol Hill to change the law, with the Department of Commerce and State Department officials who met with the House staff last week.

In an effort to appease holdovers in the GOP healthcare overhaul, Senate Republicans have dropped two proposed tax cuts on high earners, Bloomberg reports.

The American Petroleum Institute said late last week that the bill would expand a prohibition on USA energy companies from being involved in oil projects located in Russia to projects around the world that include Russian energy firms.

The worst case scenario for the Trump administration is one in which the House passes the bill in its current format and sends it to the president's desk for a signature.

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