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White House Wants More Flexible Russia-Sanctions Deal From Congress

The House has yet to take up the measure, which is an amendment to a bill that tightens sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile tests.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the overwhelming passage of the measure "sends a strong signal to President Vladimir Putin while ensuring the Trump administration has the flexibility it needs".

The White House is seeking to influence some GOP House members to ease up on the Senate-passed Russian Federation sanctions, hoping that the lower chamber will provide "administration-friendly" changes, according to Politico.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week that he was wary of Congress taking actions that could interfere with the administration's efforts to improve relations with Russian Federation.

The measure is widely seen as a rebuke to Trump, as it hits Russian Federation with new sanctions to punish Moscow for its interference in U.S. elections, as well as over Moscow's aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Tillerson had asked for some time to try and change the direction of U.S. -Russia relations before Congress levied new sanctions on the Kremlin. The bill also included a suite of sanctions against Iran.

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. Chuck Schumer of NY, the minority leader, said Wednesday.

More news: Georgia manhunt: Escaped inmates accused of killing guards arrested in Tennessee

Senators insisted the new Iran sanctions won't undermine or impede enforcement of the landmark nuclear deal that Obama and other countries reached with Tehran two years ago.

The bipartisan support for the year's most significant GOP-backed limitation on Trump comes as the White House remains silent on the plan to sanction Moscow, even as President Putin pushes back at USA intelligence officials' conclusion that Russian actors conducted cyberattacks to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.

Corker, too, sounded pleased that the bill effectively ties a president's hands when it comes to unwinding certain sanctions on Russian Federation.

The measure would punish individuals who conduct what the senators described as "malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government". The measure also would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

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". Only Sens. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul voted against it.

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