In Rare Moment of Bipartisan Unity, Senate Approves New Russia Sanctions

"This bipartisan amendment is the sanctions regime that the Kremlin deserves for its actions", Shaheen said.

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed tough sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran, sending the House of Representatives a bill that would prevent President Donald Trump from unilaterally easing penalties against Moscow.

The sanctions follow the scandalous departure of Michael Flynn as Trump's national security advisor.

White House Principle Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration remains "committed" to the existing sanctions against Russian Federation, calling them the "best tool" for compelling Russian Federation to honor its commitments to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told CNN that "we moved to make the Congress, not the President, the final arbiter of sanctions relief when necessary". "We can have congressional hearings, we can put a spotlight on it". Then it will be brought before US President Donald Trump, who will have to either sign or vetoit. "And all during that process, the sanctions remain in place".

Top lawmakers on two Senate committees - Banking and Foreign Relations - announced the sanctions deal late Monday amid the firestorm over Russia's meddling in the presidential election and investigations into Moscow's possible collusion with members of President Donald Trump's campaign.

Despite the overwhelming vote, the Russian Federation sanctions package was no sure thing.

French President Emmanuel Macron says Europe owes a lot to Helmut Kohl
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has ordered flags at EU institutions to be flown at half-mast. The view was echoed by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

In addition to Russia's cyberattacks, the tightened sanctions were labeled a response to Russia's violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity, and its role in Syria.

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.

"We would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue", Tillerson said.

The Senate easily passed legislation Thursday that would impose additional sanctions against Russian Federation and limit the president's power to lift them in the future.

The larger measure to which it is attached could pass this week, according to The Hill.

That they are willing to stand with Democrats in sending a message to Trump about Russian Federation is a good first step, but they must go much further, and support all necessary investigations, if they are serious about securing our democratic system from further attacks.

Senators say the bill won't impede enforcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran.

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