The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of new Russia sanctions that also lets Congress block President Donald Trump from easing or ending penalties against Moscow, the year’s most significant GOP-imposed restriction on the White House.
The 97-2 vote on the Russia sanctions plan capped a week of talks that demonstrated cross-aisle collaboration that’s become increasingly rare as Trump and the GOP push to repeal Obamacare without any Democratic votes. Senators merged the sanctions package with a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill that’s on track for passage as soon as this week, complicating the politics of any future veto threat from the Trump administration.
97—2 makes it kinda veto-proof! Hope that someone told the Russian Usurper that… But when you read further on, you find the razor blade in the apple:
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a leading negotiator of the sanctions deal and a Tillerson ally, said earlier this week that he believed the legislation would get Trump’s signature. Democrats, however, are also wary of House GOP attempts to change their popular, bipartisan agreement to punish Putin.
“I know that some people in the White House are pushing back” on the Senate sanctions framework, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Banking Committee’s top Democrat and another key player in the talks, told reporters. “People in the White House, we hear, are making calls in the House to try to stop it, slow it, weaken it, dilute it.”