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 legislation is expected to head to the House in the coming weeks.
The new Russian Federation sanctions also requires the White House to get a congressional review if it attempts to relax, suspend or terminate Russian Federation sanctions.
The sanctions follow the scandalous departure of Michael Flynn as Trump s national security advisor.
The threat of a new wave of sanctions emerged this month as USA policymakers backed the idea of punishing Russian Federation for alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and for supporting Syria's government in the six-year-long civil war.
However, they could not predict if it would come up for a final vote before lawmakers leave Washington at the end of July for their summer recess.
The measure, which now moves to the House, also gives Capitol Hill a much stronger hand in determining Russian Federation sanctions policy. The Trump administration has pushed back against the bill, and his fellow Republicans hold a commanding 238- to 193-seat majority in the chamber.
During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Tillerson urged the Congress "to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation".
According to Politico, a senior administration official stated that the "White House is concerned that the legislation would tie its hands on U.S. -Russia relations". They blocked US companies such as Exxon Mobil, where Tillerson was chairman, from investing in such projects. Rand Paul (R -KY) and Bernie Sanders (I - VT). Bill Nelson (D-Florida) and other lawmakers. Moreover, it institutes new sanctions on certain Russian industries, such as mining, metals, shipping and railways, and paves the way for possible new sanctions on individuals.
It remained unknown whether Trump, who had been seeking rapprochement with Russian Federation for months, would sign the bill into law. The Senate passed the measure today by a vote of 98-2.
Russian officials, including Putin, have repeatedly said that Russia didn't interfere in the United States presidential election, calling the accusations groundless and a result of the internal struggle in DC.
That's a realistic threat, despite confidence from Israeli lobbyists that it would not, as the bill was largely an attempt to sneak sanctions the USA was obliged to lift from Iran as part of the nuclear deal back in as part of punishing Iran for "non-nuclear" actions, and those leading the charge were opponents of the P5+1 deal in the first place.