In June, the Senate passed a bipartisan sanctions bill 98-2, but so far it has not come up for a vote in the House of Representatives because of squabbling in the lower Congressional chamber. In order to get the legislative ball rolling, House Democrats are set to introduce a bill Wednesday that is essentially identical to the Senate bill.
According to Reuters, the House Democrats are doing this because of the machinations of Congress:
“It’s identical to the Senate-passed bill,” a Democratic committee aide said, but since it will be labeled as a House bill it would avoid a procedural issue that prompted House Republican leaders to send the measure back to the Senate.
Democrats accused House Republicans of stalling the bill in order to weaken it after the Trump administration expressed concern about provisions setting up a process for Congress to approve any of Trump’s efforts to ease sanctions on Moscow.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that he just wants the strongest bill possible, but that they had to be careful in how the bill was written. “There are some policy issues with respect to making sure that we don’t actually inadvertently help Russian oligarchs and oil firms,” he said.
The Russian sanctions were added as an amendment to a bill about sanctions on Iran over its missile program. It introduces new sanctions and ones that were previously imposed by executive order by former President Obama.