US Senate sends Russia sanctions bill to House

US Senate sends Russia sanctions bill to House

The U.S. Senate resolved a technical issue that had stalled a new package of sanctions on Russia but the measure faces opposition in the House that could mean more delays, lawmakers said.

The Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act, which also includes the Russia sanctions, passed the Senate in a 98-2 vote on June 15.

Many lawmakers hoped the bill would become law in time to send a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin before President Donald Trump's meeting with him in Germany next week.

But the Senate bill stalled when House Republican leaders said it violated a constitutional requirement that legislation affecting revenues originate in the House, known as a "blue slip" violation, Reuters reported.

Lawmakers from the two chambers have bickered about it since. Democrats accused House Republicans of trying to kill the bill to please Trump after administration officials said they had concerns about it. House Republican leaders insisted their objection was solely a procedural one.

"The speaker has made clear that we will take up sanctions once the House receives it," a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan AshLee Strong said.

The Senate resolved the procedural issue on Thursday. But the delay means the House will not vote until after the G20, because of Congress' recess next week.

The legislation would put into law sanctions previously established via ex-President Barack Obama's executive orders. It includes sanctions on mining and other industries, and targets Russians responsible for cyber attacks or supplying weapons to Syria's government.

It also sets up a review process that would require Trump to get Congress' approval before easing sanctions on Russia.

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