Pelosi Plans To Force Republicans To Vote On Russia Sanctions

Huffington Post
Democratic Party chair Tom Perez was elected to shake things up but Democrats remain divided and disinterested

The legislation always attracts hundreds of amendments because it covers a wide swath of policy, and it's the first major national security bill of the Trump administration where Democrats can use amendments to try to pin down Republicans on Trump.

"Just like the revelations that came up today, we need to have more oversight and more answers coming from the Trump administration in terms of their relationship with Russian Federation, not less -- and this is a good opportunity", Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat with several amendments pending, told CNN.

The House rules committee made the first batch of 85 amendments in order Tuesday evening, with only a couple dealing with Russian Federation, and none of the amendments tied to Trump's businesses.

"It would be a very strong statement for all of America to get that sanction bill completed and done, and to the president's desk", the Republican lawmaker said in the House as it wrapped up its activity for the week.

The Trump administration objects to a provision in the Russian Federation bill that sets up a process for Congress to approve any effort by the president to ease sanctions on Moscow.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday he believed the North Korean sanctions bill, which passed almost unanimously in the House in May, should be added to the Russian Federation sanctions measure that passed the Senate one month ago.

House Republican leaders initially rejected the bill for procedural reasons, prompting the Senate to tweak it. Trump Jr. also said his father, President Donald Trump, wasn't aware of the meeting until recently.

During an off-camera briefing Wednesday, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "I think Democrats are trying to play political games".

House Republican leaders said they had not taken up the original Senate bill because it violated a constitutional requirement that all legislation affecting government revenues originate in the House, known as a "blue slip" issue. The panel's top Democrat, California Sen.

But if the House adds North Korea sanctions to the bill, the Senate will have to debate the amended parts of the legislation before passing it. They hoped to receive damaging information-courtesy of the Russian government-about Hillary Clinton.

But AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, blamed House Democrats for holding up the bill unnecessarily.

Democratic senators from Maryland and NY warned the Trump administration Thursday against returning Russian diplomatic compounds seized in retaliation for that country's interference in last year's presidential election.

Officials from the Treasury and State departments met last week with House congressional staff to voice their concerns over the congressional review section of the bill.

She went on to list potential charges without providing further context: "Criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States, impeding the lawful administration of a federal election or to make an offense against the United States, cybercrime, hacking against U.S. citizens-the Clinton campaign". He noted, "House Republicans shouldn't be providing cover for the administration and its affection for Russian Federation".

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