The Senate wants to punish Russia

Senators close to a bipartisan agreement on strengthening directed against Russia sanctions. Thus, they set up the bandwagon to President Donald Trump, denying Moscow’s intervention in the 2016 elections.

While the main obstacle to agreement lies in the fact to determine how strong a shot.

Democrats maintain a hard line. They want to block any attempt by trump to weaken existing sanctions against the government of Vladimir Putin. However, the Republicans don’t like the idea completely tie the President’s hands in Russian. They are not even willing to criticize trump for his performances against the threatening party unity investigation of the Russian intervention in elections.

A successful vote on the question of sanctions will be a major victory for Senate majority leader — the Republican Senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell (Mitch McConnell), have long advocated tough policy towards Russia. He made it clear that he is interested in this bill, agreeing to link the issue with the bill on sanctions against Iran, which should be adopted this week. However, Senate minority leader, democratic Senator from new York Chuck Schumer (Chuck Schumer), has warned that if the parties fail to agree on the imposition on Russia of harsh sanctions, the Democrats will refuse to vote for a bill on Iran that most of them were ready to support.

“Every member of Congress who is not seeking to punish Russia for what she did, betraying democracy, said Sunday the Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham (Lindsey Graham). And if the President does not sign a law punishing Russia, he will betray democracy.”

The chair of the Senate foreign Affairs Committee Bob Corker (Bob Corker) said last week that the Senate is likely to “come to very hard measures against Russia, which will be supported by both parties.” “We understand what motivates senators”, outraged the Russian cyber-attacks during last year’s presidential election, he added.

Corker also acknowledged that the administration of tramp — like any other administration, “is unlikely to be satisfied,” if Congress will force her to reconsider sanctions against Russia without the approval of the legislature. However, the legislature had already created a precedent in 2015, when he forced President Barack Obama to present them for consideration to a deal with Iran which they eventually refused to approve it, said Corker, a Republican Senator from Tennessee.

Question about role in the negotiations on sanctions against Russia plays the White house, remains open. Corker claims that team trump was not involved in the events. On the contrary, a source in the democratic party reports that the administration is “tacitly involved” in the talks, which also involved the leaders of both parties and the leadership of the Senate committees on foreign policy and the banks.

Last week, the Senate staff have devoted considerable time to preparing materials for the ongoing negotiations on the content of the Russian amendments, which, according to Corker, can include elements of the half-dozen bills. Democrats believe the priority goals cross-party initiative, supported by two dozen senators from both parties, according to which the Congress should have the right to block any attempt to remove or weaken the sanctions.

The administration has an ambivalent approach to the sanctions against Russia. Chief economic adviser of the White house Gary Con (Gary Cohn) said last month: “If anything, we probably need to toughen the policy towards Russia.” However, state Department spokesman Heather Nauert reported last week about the negotiations for the return of two Russian diplomatic facilities, which the Obama administration shut down in December as part of election-related sanctions.

“We are trying to restore mutual trust with the Russian government”, — told reporters Neuert. According to her, Russia and America can work together in several areas — primarily in the area of counter-terrorism.

Press Secretary of the White house Sarah Sanders (Sarah Huckabee Sanders) said, answering the question of whether the administration endorses the idea of considering Congress introduced any sanctions against Russia changes: “the Administration supports the existing sanctions and will save them as long as Moscow is not fully fulfilling its obligations to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.”

“We are convinced that the current regime of sanctions established by the Executive power, is the best tool to force Russia to fulfill its obligations,” said Sanders.

But the Democrats want to go further and to add new sanctions in response to systematic Subversion in cyberspace, which, according to many U.S. officials, Russia was engaged in election 2016.

“Once the Kremlin intervened in our elections, this gives us a promising opportunity to make truly effective the law on sanctions, said through his press Secretary-democratic Senator from new Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen (Jeanne Shaheen), plays an important role in the negotiations on the sanctions. — Both parties agree that we must take this opportunity to bring this initiative to the end.”

Some Republicans advocate a two-pronged strategy, which includes strengthening existing sanctions and adding new ones. Graham, the main supporter of the bill on congressional approval of a change in sanctions, told reporters Thursday on the way to meeting a Russian amendment that he supports your bill, and new sanctions against Moscow.

Trump continues to say that he does not believe in the involvement of Moscow’s interference in foreign elections and in particular to cyber-attacks directed against French President Emmanuel Macron.

“The Russian authorities are probably laughing at US and over how fake news repeat the lame excuses the Democrats lost the election,” said trump in his Twitter on may 30.

On Sunday, Graham told the CBS program “Face the Nation” that the senators overcome a veto trump, if he does not sign the law on sanctions against Russia.

Potential stumbling block could also be a question about how to merge the January bill on sanctions proposed by the Republican Senator from Arizona John Makkejnom (John McCain) and the Senator from Maryland Ben by Cardinal (Ben Cardin), with another similar bipartisan bill developed by the head of the Senate Committee on banks, Crapo Mike (Mike ‘ Crapo), the Senator from Idaho, and his Deputy Senator from Ohio with Sherrod brown (Sherrod Brown).

According to Crapo, “if there is no signed a mutually acceptable agreement” it plans to offer a joint bill with brown in as a separate amendment. Such a move is dangerous because it can cause competing bills, and this, admits, Crapo that can damage both proposals.

“I definitely believe that the Union would draft laws to the benefit,” says Crapo.

On the question of inter-party negotiations, brown said only that they are successful.

A defining moment in the question of sanctions will probably come on Monday, when McConnell plans to formally consider the bill on Iran, which should be linked to the punishment of Moscow. The Republicans are counting on the week to finish with this question, although Schumer on Wednesday warned that his faction would be “very difficult” to vote for sanctions against Iran if no agreement is reached for Russia.

However, even if this week the Senate will strike a deal on Putin’s regime, his decision still must be approved by the House of representatives, after which it gets on the table to Trump. The speaker of the house of representatives Paul Ryan (Paul Ryan), the Republican Congressman from Wisconsin, said in February that he would support the law on sanctions against Russia if trump will try to weaken them. But last week, he spoke a few careful.

“I believe the sanctions in this particular case necessary, said Ryan is MSNBC, but they have already entered.” In his opinion, the most important thing that lawmakers “totally figured out, what sources and methods the Russians used the” trying to interfere in elections. Only after this it will be necessary to decide how to proceed, he said.