A bipartisan deal to boost sanctions against Russia is taking shape despite the Trump administration’s mixed signals on engaging with Moscow.
The Senate is on the verge of a bipartisan deal to strengthen sanctions against Russia — throwing an elbow at President Donald Trump, who has dismissed Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election.
Their biggest stumbling block is determining how hard a punch to throw at Russia.
Democrats are pushing a harsh plan to let Congress block Trump from easing current sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s government. But tying Trump’s hands on Russia may be too much of a rebuke for Republicans who have been loath to criticize the president even as he slams investigations into Russian electoral interference that threaten to derail their shared agenda.
A successful vote to punish Moscow would give a key win to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a longtime Russia hawk who telegraphed his interest in a deal when he agreed to combine the issue with an Iran sanctions bill teed up for passage this week. If negotiators can’t agree on a strong Russia sanctions package, however, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has warned that Democrats would defect from an Iran bill that most of them otherwise support.
Full story in article.