US House passes Russia, Iran, North Korea sanctions bill

The bill, which was passed almost unanimously, would slap new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, Deutshe Welle reports.

In addition to straining ties between the US and Russia, it could also raise tensions with the EU.

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that places restrictions on President Donald Trump from loosening sanctions on Russia, a measure that could tie his hands as he seeks a reset in relations with Moscow.

Lawmakers voted 419-3 to pass the legislation, which also imposes a new round of sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.

The bill “tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said after the vote.

The legislation must now go to the Senate, where it is likely to pass before being sent to the president’s desk, possibly as early as August.

The bill is a rare case of Republicans allying with Democrats against their own president, whose administration has been plagued by investigations into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and supposedly possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

A key feature of the bill is a requirement for the president to seek permission from Congress before removing sanctions on Russia – an attempt to block any unilateral move to lift sanctions.

The Trump administration is against the bill, arguing it interferes with executive authority and ties its hands in conducting foreign policy.

Trump has not said whether he would veto the bill. On Tuesday, the White House said it supports tough sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea but wants to see the final bill that comes out of the Senate before committing.

Congress has what appears to be a veto-proof majority.


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