Move would give Congress power to veto Trump’s Russia decisions
WASHINGTON — US Republicans and Democrats on Saturday have reached agreement on a bill that would include new sanctions against Russia, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The bill could largely limit President Donald Trump’s power to ease sanctions on Russia, as it gives Congress power to veto any decision made by the president that would “significantly alter” US foreign policy in connection with Russia.
The decisions could include easing sanctions or returning diplomatic properties in Maryland and New York that former president Barack Obama ordered vacated in December.
The House will vote on the bill on Tuesday and the Senate is likely to take it up after that. The bipartisan agreement could send the new bill to Trump by the end of the month.
The three countries have “in different ways all threatened their neighbors and actively sought to undermine US citizen interests,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a joint statement released on Saturday.
“A strong sanctions bill such as the one Democrats and Republicans have just agreed to is essential,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer added.
The bill came at a time when the Trump administration was under media fire over the Russia scandal.
Last week, emails surfaced between Trump’s son, Donald Jnr., and a Russian lawyer who allegedly had access to compromising information on then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, a new poll found that the majority of US citizens believe in diplomacy instead of military action against the DPRK, who under the agreement would be subject to economic sanctions.
According to the NBC/SurveyMonkey National Security poll released early this week, 59 percent voiced support for diplomacy, with 35 percent favoring a military response.
Opinions about how the Trump administration should handle the issue differ largely by party, the poll also found, with 76 percent of Democrats and Democratic- Vinson