US House Speaker Wants 'Strong, Bold' Sanctions Bill Amid White House Opposition

Marc Short, the White House legislative director, told reporters that the administration backs the new sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran, but it objects to a provision giving Congress a much greater say on sanctions.

With less than a month remaining in the August recess, the Senate has confirmed only 23 percent of President Trump's 216 nominations, the White House alleged.

In a similar vein, Congressman Bill Pascrell said he would introduce a Resolution of Inquiry to force the release of Trump's tax returns to the Ways and Means Committee. Any attempts to alter the legislation would face stiff opposition from congressional Democrats and even a large number of Republicans due to their wariness over Trump's desire for better relations with Moscow.

'The administration is fully supportive of those sanctions.

House Republican leaders initially rejected the Bill for procedural reasons, prompting the Senate to tweak it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has said he is supportive of Russian sanctions but hasn't indicated how he will manage the Democratic-sponsored bill.

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Despite its passage in the Senate by such a wide margin, the bill has been stalled in the House over what Ryan has called policy and procedural matters.

Democrats rejected the suggestion as another tactic by Republicans supporting White House objections to the bill.

The White House opposes the bill, which passed the Senate last month, saying it ties Trump's hands in dealing with Russian Federation in regard to future policy on sanctions and his ability to make adjustments.

And the State Department has confirmed ongoing discussions about Moscow's demand for the return of two diplomatic compounds seized by the Obama administration in December in response to US intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russian Federation conducted a broad campaign to disrupt the election on Trump's behalf.

On Friday, Corker said he would be "more than glad" to consider adding North Korea to the legislation if the House chose to do so.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence panel, which is conducting a bipartisan investigation of the matter, is "seeing smoke everywhere, like "Cheech and Chong" movie".

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The goal of the procedural measures is to hold Republicans accountable for their "complicity" with Trump, Pelosi said.

"For House Republicans wanting distance from the Russian Federation mess".

"Russia doesn't have the capacity to fully develop its energy without foreign investment, so by putting sanctions on foreign energy companies that would go in and invest in Russian Federation, that would ... really hurt Russia's ability to develop these resources", Bergmann said. "We could have fixed it in five minutes", Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

"I fear that we are witnessing a betrayal of our nation that is unlike anything we have ever seen before in American politics".

The legislation cleared the Senate two weeks ago with 98 votes, an overwhelming margin that suggested the bill would speed quickly through the House and to Trump's desk. But House Republicans and the administration objected, saying it gave too much authority to the legislative branch, and allowed the minority Democratic Party to gum up floor operations.

If Ryan rejects the compromise, Hoyer said that would tell him that House Republicans "are in a protective mode, not a mode of assuring, as the Senate did, that we have significant oversight".

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