Senate jabs Trump in unanimous vote on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

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They also target Russia's shipping, mining, and railway industries. "We have some channels where we're starting to talk, but what I wouldn't want to do is close the channels off".

The bipartisan legislation passed overwhelmingly Thursday, 98-2, more than five months after US intelligence agencies determined Moscow had deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the Senate bill's cosponsors, told reporters on Wednesday that the White House was already lobbying against the measure, Business Insider reported.

The legislation strengthens current sanctions imposed by former President Barack Obama and creates new ones on a broad range of people, including Russians engaged in corruption, individuals engaged in human rights abuses and anyone supplying weapons to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

So far, at least, that has been a bet worth taking for the White House, though the new penalties against Russian Federation are also built into a bill that gives Trump something he wants: new sanctions on Iran - so that raises the stakes for the president should he threaten a veto.

In a almost unanimous vote, the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved new sanctions against Iran and Russian Federation that also limit President Donald Trump's administration from weakening existing sanctions against Moscow.

It's not clear what exact changes the White House wants to make to the bill, or that those changes would actually weaken the proposed penalties against Russian Federation, but Senate Democrats have been attempting to sound an alarm over just that possibility. It's not the first time Congress has sought such a requirement, however, as a similar mechanism was passed in 2015 regarding sanctions on Iran after President Obama pursued his landmark nuclear deal with the country.

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The administration fears that the sanctions, passed on a 98-2 vote Thursday, will tie its hands in dealing with Moscow, Politico reports, citing a senior White House official. Rand Paul (R -KY) and Bernie Sanders (I - VT). These latest sanctions are in retaliation for Russia's interference in last year's presidential election.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the chairman of the Banking Committee, said the legislation expands the Ukraine-related sanctions to ban Western companies from being involved in Russian energy exploration projects in the Arctic and elsewhere.

The Senate had been pondering what separate measures against Russian Federation might look like, but Corker and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland suggested the Iran bill might be a better and faster route for them.

In another challenge to Trump's foreign policy, the measure also "reaffirm the strategic importance" of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The underlying bill imposed new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program and support for worldwide terrorism.

Maryland senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, told TWS that the White House might express some reservations about the bill, but he expected them to support it.

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