Move would give Congress power to veto Trump’s Rus­sia de­ci­sions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

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

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