United States senators dare Trump to veto sanctions against Russian Federation

The new package of Russia sanctions, passed by a 97-2 vote in the Senate, was so far one of the strongest us responses to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

The amendment on Russian Federation, which passed in a 97-2 vote on Wednesday, was attached to a bill to strengthen sanctions on Iran.

This new bill would also give sanctions imposed by then president Barack Obama via an executive order the full force of law. For one, new sanctions would be imposed on those linked to "malicious cyber activity" or Russian intelligence or defense services and even for allocating weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The Trump administration reportedly is weighing the return of Russian compounds on US soil seized by the Obama administration, and the president has repeatedly expressed a desire for better relations with Moscow while downplaying the impact of Russia's cyber activities.

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"We can not let Russia's meddling in our elections go unpunished, lest they ever consider such interference again, nor any other nation in the world", said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Specifically, the legislation prohibits the U.S. State Department from returning two Russian diplomatic compounds seized by the Obama administration in response to Russia's election hacking. The Senate will consider it as part of an Iran sanctions bill that already has wide support.

That includes the possibility of allowing Russian Federation to regain access to compounds in NY and Maryland that the Obama administration seized last December, saying Russian Federation was using the compounds for intelligence activities.

"I believe it's particularly significant that a bipartisan coalition is seeking to re-establish Congress as the final arbiter of sanctions relief - no matter what the administration does - considering that this administration has been too eager to put sanctions relief on the table", top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

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The Russia amendment was added to the sanctions bill in a 97-2 vote on Wednesday.

Senior members of the Senate committee on banking which includes Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat and Senator Mike Crapo teamed up with Senator Cardin and Republican Senator John McCain alongside Graham Lindsey to introduce a provision in the agreement that matches up with other bills that have previously been considered this year. "I think what I wouldn't want to do is to close the channels off with something new that's ill-timed".

We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting. The State Department has said that talks are ongoing with Russian Federation over the possible return of the compounds, underscoring the Trump administration's interest in securing more cooperation from Moscow in ending the Syrian civil war.

The bill was now heading toward the House for passage before reaching U.S. President Donald Trump's desk.

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