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White House Pressures Congress to Soften Russia Sanctions Bill

15 July 2017

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters today that President Trump "is committed to maintaining the existing sanctions against Russian Federation, until Moscow reverses the aggressive actions against Ukraine that triggered the sanctions".

The resolution asked for any records of loans or credit from a number of banks - including Deutsche Bank and Russian lenders Sberbank (SBER.MM) and Gazprombank (GZPRI.MM) - to Trump, and 22 of his closest associates, including family members and top White House and campaign advisers.

"Our concern is that the legislation, we believe, sets an unusual precedent of delegating foreign policy to 535 members of Congress by not including certain national security waivers that have always been consistently part of sanctions bills in the past", Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, said.

There's also another issue lingering over the bill in the House that could lead to changes to the measure. If forced to have to consider a veto, Trump would be hard pressed to rely, no matter how much historical precedent there may be, on the valid concerns about constraints being placed on the office of the presidency, because a veto could be perceived as being "soft" on Russian Federation.

Congressional aides said sanctions or fines against other countries like those in the bill could be interpreted as affecting USA government revenue. In addition to defense sanctions, the bill contains an energy component, which would impose mandatory secondary sanctions on arctic deep water energy exploration. "We want to move this Russian Federation sanctions bill".

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The bill in question was passed by the Senate in mid-June by a veto-proof majority of 98 to 2.

On Friday, Corker said he would be "more than glad" to consider adding North Korea to the legislation if the House chose to do so.

Although Trump voiced hopes to improve relations with Russian Federation, most lawmakers - Republicans and Democrats - favor a tougher line than the president on Moscow.

"I've only been in politics for two years, but I've had many people call up, 'Oh gee, we have information on this factor or this person or frankly Hillary, ' - that's very standard in politics".

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The fight over the House language is the latest twist for a bill that passed the Senate almost a month ago.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he wants to move as quickly as possible on a package of "strong, bold" new sanctions against Russian Federation despite opposition from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which claims the bill infringes on its rights.

Washington, Jul 11 The White House has hit out Democratic senators for delaying crucial appointments by delaying confirmation of the Trump administration's nominations for high-ranking posts in the government.

As new information comes to light about possible ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian officials, the House of Representatives is caught up in a debate over how much authority to give the president to potentially ease sanctions against Moscow.

Officials from the Treasury and the State departments met with a bipartisan group of House lawmakers last week to oppose the provision allowing lawmakers to block the president's decision to lift sanctions. "House Republicans need to end this charade".

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White House Pressures Congress to Soften Russia Sanctions Bill