Russia Findings Raise Hopes for US Sanctions Bill

White House criticizes Russia sanctions stalled in House

White House criticizes Russia sanctions stalled in House

House Republicans are considering combining a North Korean sanctions bill with the Senate's Russian Federation sanctions legislation, an idea that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new version of a Russian Federation and Iran sanctions bill on Wednesday, hoping to send a message to President Donald Trump to maintain a strong line against Moscow.

Engel said House Republicans are also discussing other changes to the bill, which he says would complicate working with the Senate to clear the bill through both chambers, "It only plays into my fear that they are trying to throw everything in the kitchen sink at this bill to make it impossible to pass it", he said.

"What happened with Donald Trump Jr. just underscores how Russian Federation was operating", said senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "They prove that the Trump campaign was not only aware of the Russian government's efforts to meddle in our elections, they were enthusiastic about accepting Russian support".

"We're talking with the Democratic members about it, trying to put together a bipartisan bill, and we're moving forward", the California Republican said.

Senate Republican leaders are saying they'd be fine with adding North Korea to the bill too, even though that would mean yet another vote the accommodate the House.

De Mistura Says Small Gains in Latest Geneva Talks
The next round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva will take place in early September, de Mistura told reporters. The UN envoy said he has seen no sign that Assad's representatives would ever discuss political transition.

"It certainly does not help the administration at this point", a senior Republican House aide said.

Stripping those create a "challenge" for the administration, and so "the way its now drafted is something that neither a Democratic or Republican administration would support".

House Democrats say the technical tweaks the Senate made last month make it more hard to bring a review resolution to a vote in the House.

Trump administration officials have been meeting with lawmakers to argue against some parts of the Bill, including the requirement that Trump obtain Congress' permission before easing any sanctions. "We could have fixed it in five minutes", Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

Officials from the State and Treasury Departments met with both Republican and Democratic congressional aides last week to express concerns about the Senate's Russian Federation sanctions bill, two senior congressional staffers confirmed to CNN.

If the committee, which is chaired and dominated by Republicans, ignores the resolution, it could head to the floor of the broader House.

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