US Congress agrees on combined Russia, Iran, North Korea sanctions bill

The US Congress reached an agreement to impose new sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and its actions in Ukraine.

Published: 23rd July 2017 09:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2017 09:01 AM   |  A+A-

The U.S. Capitol is seen through glass panels, one of which is webbed with cracks, from below the Capitol Visitors Center, Thursday, July 20, 2017, in Washington. (Associated Press)

By IANS

WASHINGTON: The US Congress reached an agreement to impose new sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and its actions in Ukraine, a plan that is to be voted on this week in the House of Representatives.

The plan on Saturday, which was announced by its negotiators in the House of Representatives and the Senate, also includes new sanctions on Iran and North Korea, two countries President Donald Trump has harshly criticised, Efe news reported.

The voting will be carried out in the House on Tuesday and shortly afterward in the Senate, according to several media outlets.

It will be conducted under an express procedure reserved for legislation with broad bipartisan support. The bill is expected to be passed by a two-thirds majority in both houses, a sufficiently wide margin to override a potential Trump veto.

If the bill is not backed by two-thirds of lawmakers, Trump will need to choose between vetoing it and generating more criticism about his alleged ties to the Kremlin or signing it and imposing sanctions that he personally opposes.

The White House has argued that imposing further sanctions on Moscow would further complicate efforts to improve relations with the Kremlin and has criticized a mechanism in the proposed bill that would require Trump to submit a report to Congress on any proposed actions that would alter foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia, including easing sanctions.

Under that mechanism, Congress would be able to approve or reject the Trump administration's proposed actions after a 30-day review.

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