Sunday, July 23, 2017

TRUMP Signals not to oppose sanctions on RUSSIA

Jul 24 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
White House signals it will back Russia sanctions bill

House To Vote On Draft On Tuesday

New White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Sunday the Trump administration was supportive of the Congressional move to impose tougher sanctions on Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression towards Ukraine.“The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place,“ Sanders said, with the Congress set to approve new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea this week after a compromise deal on Saturday .
In June, the Senate passed tough sanctions on Moscow and Tehran, but the text got stalled in the House of Representatives. The House will vote on Tuesday on the bill.
Initially, Trump resisted the legislation, which would prevent him from unilaterally easing penalties against Moscow -placing him under Congress's watch. But faced with near-total consensus among Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the White House blinked. “We will continue to work with the House and Senate to put those tough sanctions in place on Russia until the situation in Ukraine is fully resolved,“ Sanders said. “The original legislation was poorly written.“
Communications director Anthony Scaramucci said it was still up to Trump whether or not to sign the measure into law. Even if Trump were to oppose the measure, Congress could overturn it with a two-thirds majority of both houses.Once the House approves the compromise bill, the Senate will vote again, likely before August.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission said the draft legislation appeared to be “driven primarily by do mestic considerations“.“Sanctions are at their most effective when they are coordinated. Currently our sanctions regimes are coordinated,“ she added, expressing concern that any new US measures could have “unintended consequences“.
House Republican majority leader Kevin McCarthy alluded to those concerns, saying the text would “help bolster the energy security of our European allies by maintaining their access to key energy resources outside of Russia“.
Sanders also highlighted the problem of too many leaks in the first six months of the administration. “We've had over 60 leaks in the first six months from the intel community when other administrations were in single digits after the entire time.“
Trump, she said, was “frustrated“ with the entire process. “There's a ton of focus on `Russia fever', which is total made-up story about the president trying to take away the legitimacy of his victory in November. This is the only illegal thing that has taken place.“
Senators predict veto-proof support
Two US senators said on Sunday they believe that the legislation for new sanctions against Russia would pass with enough votes to override any potential veto by US President Donald Trump. “I think (it) will pass overwhelmingly again in the Senate and with a veto-proof majority,“ Senator John Thune, a Republican, said. Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said the bill had bipartisan support and lawmakers would be able to override a veto by Trump. “It has broad support in the Senate and in the House. If he vetoes the bill, we will override the veto.“ Congress will have at least 30 days to hold hearings and then vote to uphold or reject Trump's proposed changes. REUTERS

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