US Senate votes near unanimously for Russia, Iran sanctions

US Senate votes near unanimously for Russia, Iran sanctions

'Today the Senate has finally confronted Russian Federation for interfering in our elections.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 97-2, to impose sanctions on Russian Federation for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Lindsey Graham said the president will be "betraying democracy" if he doesn't sign the legislation, given the "overwhelming evidence that Russian Federation is trying to destroy democracy here and overseas". Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Politico in an interview.

"[Russian President Vladimir Putin's] brazen attack on our democracy is a flagrant demonstration of his disdain and disrespect for our nation", Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said ahead of the vote.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson questioned the legislation on Wednesday, urging Congress to ensure that any sanctions package "allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation".

The measure, which was announced Monday and is an amendment to another bill on sanctions on Iran, codifies existing sanctions on Russian Federation and adds new ones. The only two senators not to vote for the bill were Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee. It then heads to the House of Representatives.

The measure, which passed on a vote of 98 to two, seeks to make Tehran pay a price for its "continued support of terrorism".

Asked where Tillerson stood on the legislation, Corker said he wasn't sure, but noted that the bill "strikes a great balance" between executive and legislative power.

Both Democratic and Republican members placed politics aside to offer prayers, support and camaraderie Wednesday, in an unusual show of unity on Capitol Hill.

"Americans are concerned about Russia's behavior in the Ukraine and Syria and they are concerned about Russia's increased cyber-intrusions", Sen.

Crapo is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a separate probe.

"My expectation is that the White House will have positive things to say about what we've done", Cardin said.

The new package also requires the White House to get a congressional review if it attempts to relax, suspend or terminate Russian Federation sanctions. The vote was 97 to 2 for the legislation, filed as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill.

"It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common objective, and with action", said Republican Senator John McCain.

Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat-New York) said, "Any idea of the president's that he can lift sanctions on his own for whatever reason are dashed by this legislation".

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