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Trump dodges on Russian Federation sanctions

15 July 2017

Some Democrats had accused Trump's fellow Republicans of stalling the sanctions package at least until after that meeting, to please the president. The officials said the provision would infringe on the president's executive authority, according to an aide knowledgeable of the discussions.

But Corker and other backers of the sanctions bill have said those concerns could be addressed administratively and don't require significant alterations to the legislation.

Further hitting out at the Democrats in the Senate, Short said they have delayed crucial appointments made by President Trump in an attempt to obstruct the will of the American people and the president's agenda.

"I think this will be a major 2018 election issue", he said, "that Republicans were unwilling to stand up and defend the United States when it was down". But he appeared to object to a key part of the legislation that would give Capitol Hill a much stronger hand in determining Russian Federation sanctions policy. "Especially in light of today's revelations that the Trump campaign met with Russian officials intent on swaying the election, Congress needs to show unity and impose sanctions for these very acts".

Democrats, and some Republicans, scoffed.

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"I don't think they understood the ramifications of striking the part that gave Democrats the right to bring up the resolution of disapproval", Hoyer said. She called the efforts "grandstanding and not a serious effort to resolve this issue and hold Russian Federation accountable".

The House passed a new package of sanctions on North Korea in May by 419-1, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, said on Thursday his committee would be taking it up soon.

With less than a month remaining in the August recess, the Senate has confirmed only 23 percent of President Trump's 216 nominations, the White House alleged.

The legislation would impose new sanctions and make it tougher for Mr. Trump to lift sanctions on Russian Federation by inserting a congressional review provision to prevent unilateral action by the White House.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) questioned explanations behind the slow pace of a bill he sponsored to impose tougher sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran that passed nearly unanimously in the Senate last month, and called for House lawmakers to resolve their differences to move forward on the measure Monday night.

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The issue has become even more heated since emails released Tuesday showed that Donald Trump Jr, the president's eldest son, eagerly agreed previous year to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic rival in the 2016 presidential election.

The Trump administration objected to provisions in the bill demanding that the president obtain Congress' approval before easing or lifting the sanctions, significantly narrowing the White House's ability to reconcile with Moscow.

If the House passes the bill and sends it to the president's desk, a veto is unlikely.

Lawmakers and aides have been negotiating for weeks to try to craft a compromise that would allow the Russia-Iran bill to move forward. He said a "controversial time loss" was a "controversial" constitutional issue that pushed the law through Congress.

He responded with typical evasiveness, telling NBCs Katie Hunt, "I'm not going to go into hypotheticals", while insisting that "it's important that we get to the bottom of this".

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Trump dodges on Russian Federation sanctions