Senate Republicans Go Against Trump to Keep Russia Sanctions

Senate Republicans Go Against Trump to Keep Russia Sanctions

Senate Republicans Go Against Trump to Keep Russia Sanctions

Senate Democrats and 11 Senate Republicans voted on Tuesday to advance a measure which would prevent the Treasury Department from relaxing sanctions on Russian companies connected to Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch with ties to the Kremlin.

The vote comes amid renewed scrutiny of the Trump administration's stance on Russian Federation in the aftermath of a bombshell New York Times report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2017 chose to investigate why Trump took actions that seemed to benefit Russian Federation. Even though he was out-voted, the resolution still needs to pass another vote to be put on the Senate floor. On Monday, Schumer called Mnuchin's decision "deeply flawed and wrong" and said it enabled Deripaska, whom the New York Democrat labeled an "agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin's interests overseas". "If Republican Senators agree with Leader McConnell, who said that Putin is a "thug" - they'll vote yes tomorrow".

Mnuchin took to the Senate to shore up opposition to Schumer's bill blocking the sanctions, to no avail.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) introduced on Tuesday parallel legislation in the House of Representatives, which will give the Democratically controlled House the option to proceed ahead of Thursday's deadline for congressional review. Congress has 30 days from the December 19 announcement to block the sanctions decision.

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In a letter asking Mnuchin for a briefing, the committee chairmen said the sanctions deal appears to allow Deripaska to keep "significant ownership" of one of the companies.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Senate Republicans last week to convince them to support the Trump administration's desires to lift the sanctions.

In addition to Collins, of ME, the Republican senators voting with Democrats were John Boozman of Arkansas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Steve Daines of Montana, Cory Gardner of Colorado, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Martha McSally of Arizona, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jerry Moran of Kansas.

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