In Congress are multiplying initiatives to counter Russia

In Congress are multiplying initiatives to counter Russia


В Конгрессе множатся инициативы по противодействию России

Bills offered by representatives of both parties, assume the new sanctions can complicate the process of lifting them

The Congress produced unusually high flow of bills, resolutions, and new sanctions to counter the tactics of President Donald trump with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin to strengthen relations with American allies and to prevent Russia’s intervention in the midterm elections in November.

But it is not clear, will the results at least some of these efforts.

Legislators are trying to understand how they can go beyond the symbolic reproaches in connection with trump contacts with the Russian President and to exert influence both within the country and abroad.

While trump and Putin are examining the possibility of new personal meeting, lawmakers from both parties, especially in the Senate, inclined to act.

The Republican majority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell made a rare warning to Russia, saying that she “better stop interfering” in the American elections. He commissioned two committees of the Senate to begin work on sanctions legislation and other measures to contain Russia.

The speaker of the house of representatives Paul Ryan joined the McConnell statement that Putin will not wait on Capitol hill. At the same time, he did not propose any laws related to Russia, before leaving the chamber at the August holidays.

However, the last few weeks have been one of the rare moments of the trump era when Republicans and Democrats worked together to try to strengthen the role of Congress as a counterweight to the administration.

“If you look at the actions of Congress after the summit in Helsinki, we can see how Democrats and Republicans unite and say no,” said democratic Senator Ben Cardin in an interview with the television network C-SPAN, the Associated Press and the Washington Post.

For starters, there is a bipartisan initiative, supported by Republican Senator John McCain, democratic Senator Tim Kane and others, the essence of which is to “expressly prohibit” the President to withdraw from NATO without the approval of the Senate.

Other senators are discussing measures to prevent interference in the midterm elections. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and his fellow Democrat Amy Klobuchar called the protection of the electoral system “the priority of national security.”

According to Graham, “it is extremely important that Congress recognized the threat to our electoral system posed from Russia, and acted decisively.”

In addition, the bill McCain and Cardin provides for the mandatory approval of Congress in case trump decides to cancel the sanctions imposed in accordance with the law of Sergei Magnitsky, involving a ban on issuing visas and freezing of assets of key Russians involved in human rights violations.

In conditions, when to elections remains less than 100 days, some say that Congress is acting quickly enough.

The bill is Republican Senator Marco Rubio and democratic Senator Chris van HOLLEN trying to warn Putin from further intervention in the elections, setting new strict sanctions against Russia if it tries to intervene.

This measure gradually makes its way through the Senate Committee on banking, but some lawmakers in the House of representatives and the Senate have expressed concern that it places the network is too wide and can create problems for the allies that do business with Russia.

Rubio says he is ready to adjust the bill to address that concern, but says that his initiative is aimed at the fact that Russia realized that she would have to pay the price for a new intervention in the elections.

He noted that the bill was introduced a few months before the summit in Helsinki and is not intended to attack the President or put him in an awkward position.

“I am extremely concerned about their ability to intervene in our politics – said Rubio in an interview. – We want to know what will be the price, so they can make a choice.”

The bill is likely to receive overwhelming support, saying lawmakers from both parties. But the vote is not yet scheduled.