Senate Crafting Legislation That Would Restrict Trump’s Ability to Lift Sanctions

Sen. Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.) announced on Monday that he and his colleagues had agreed on a policy that would require that plans to lift sanctions be reviewed by Congress.

While Corker didn’t specifically mention Russia, his comments followed senators’ recent indications that a deal on Russian sanctions was fast approaching. “I think we’re there. We’re going through the [legislative] language in here now, but we’ve reached an agreement,” Corker told reporters, according to The Hill.

Trump officials reportedly started the new administration by ferociously pushing for the State Department to propose lifting Russian sanctions. That effort seemed less likely to succeed given the controversy surrounding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and news that he allegedly concealed a conversation about sanctions with Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.

Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) worked on the initial legislation after State Department officials complained about pressure from Trump aides. McCain’s and Cardin’s effort apparently continued as both senators joined several others in talks to craft new sanctions legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said on Monday that negotiators in Congress were working to “craft much-needed additional sanctions on Russia.”

McConnell’s counterpart on the other side of the aisle, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), said on Monday that the new legislation would allow Congress to prevent Trump from lifting sanctions on Russia.