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White House Pressures Congress to Soften Russia Sanctions Bill

Image: White House Pressures Congress to Soften Russia Sanctions Bill
(AP)

By    |   Monday, 10 Jul 2017 10:26 AM

The White House is intensifying pressure to halt Congress from sending a Russia sanctions bill to the president's desk that would hamper his ability to retain flexibility in his negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Axios reported on Monday.

Administration officials are quietly trying to convince Republican congressmen that the bill passed by the Senate 97-2 needs waivers so that President Donald Trump's hands are not tied when he is trying to deal with Russia.

White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said the administration supports "the sanctions on Iran and Russia; however, this bill is so poorly written that neither Republican nor Democratic administrations would be comfortable with the current draft because it greatly hampers the executive branch's diplomatic efforts."

Administration officials said sanctions also would be bad for U.S. companies, particularly in the energy sector, who would be punished for doing business with Russian firms.

Officials are trying to prevent a situation where Trump is forced to either sign the bill, which would greatly restrain his diplomatic efforts with Putin, or veto the bill and risk a two-thirds majority in Congress overriding it and dealing the president a humiliating blow.

The White House is convinced that the longer the bill gets delayed, the better the administration's chances are of getting it changed to their liking.

The administration also has hope that, despite the opposition of House Speaker Paul Ryan to the changes the White House desires, there are other GOP congressmen who are more sympathetic, such as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Sen. John Cornyn.

Politico reported that Democrats are opposing one of the changes in the bill because it would weaken a key provision that empowers Congress to block Trump from ending or easing sanctions against Moscow.

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The White House is intensifying pressure to halt Congress from sending a Russia sanctions bill to the president's desk that would hamper his ability to retain flexibility in his negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Axios reported on Monday.
white house, pressure, congress, russia, sanctions
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2017-26-10
Monday, 10 Jul 2017 10:26 AM
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