The Senate voted Wednesday to advance a bill sanctioning Iran over ballistic missile testing that is also likely to include provisions punishing Russia for interfering in the U.S. presidential election, the Washington Examiner reported.
A vote on the sanctions could come as early as next week.
Among the bipartisan group of senators who are pushing for the penalties against Russia being attached to the sanctions bill on Iran are Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., adding his support as well, Politico reported.
Republicans McCain and Graham have been trying, since the beginning of the Trump administration, to thwart the president's reported intentions to ease sanctions on Moscow.
The main authors of various bipartisan proposals to insert the penalties on Russia through amendments in the Iran sanctions bill have all been involved in the negotiations about exactly what will be included in the legislation, The Washington Post reported.
Although President Donald Trump has questioned the consensus of the intelligence community Russia meddled in the American presidential election, bipartisan pressure to take some form of punitive action against Moscow has grown as allegations increase about interference by the Kremlin.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., cited Trump's reluctance to take a lead on the issue as a driving force for the actions of the Congress, the Examiner reported.
"With this administration unable to articulate a clear vision for American leadership in the world, the time is right for Congress to assert its influence on foreign policy," Menendez said. "Now is not the time for Congress to turn a blind eye to hostile behavior."
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