The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve sanctions against Russian Federation for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.
The Iran component of the legislation, authored by Corker and Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), expands sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile development, support for terrorism, transfers of conventional weapons, and human rights violations. Rand Paul and independent Sen.
The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives.
Despite the overwhelming vote, the Russian Federation sanctions package was no sure thing.
The bipartisan support for the year's most significant GOP-backed limitation on Trump comes as the White House remains silent on the plan to sanction Moscow, even as President Putin pushes back at USA intelligence officials' conclusion that Russian actors conducted cyberattacks to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
The White House stressed that it is committed to the existing Russian sanctions regime that it believes is best suited to address USA concerns and would keep sanctions in place until Russia resolves the situation in Ukraine.
The vote to strengthen sanctions against Russia - which Senators on both parties made clear was created to send a message on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections - came hours after President Donald Trump had again mocked the investigation surrounding those charges.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a press conference during his annual call-in-show at press center in Gostiny dvor June 15, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the new sanctions would hamper diplomacy with Russian Federation.
"I would hope to allow the diplomatic efforts to attempt to make some progress", Tillerson said earlier this week.
"We do project ourselves strongly into this issue, Congress does, the Senate does, but we also left flexibilities for them to be able to manage foreign policy", he said.
The American Jewish Committee praised the bill's passage.
"We've been interacting with the state department and, again, we'll see what happens", he told reporters. However, he would have to reject new sanctions against Iran, which he supports, to derail the latest congressional effort to punish Russian Federation. The sanctions targeted Russian energy products as well as "mining, metals, shipping and railways and".
Sanders said he voted against the larger bill because he said sanctioning Iran could harm the Iranian nuclear deal.
Finally, it provides that no sanctions can be lifted by the President without Congressional review.
"But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015", Sanders added.
Trump announced at a news conference last week that he would support Article 5 after he failed to mention it in a speech at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters last month. While Trump recently said he, too, supports North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, he failed to do so at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels, worrying the alliance's supporters and members.