Senators on Wednesday passed the bipartisan sanctions legislation 97-2, underscoring broad support among Republicans and Democrats for rebuking Russian Federation after US intelligence agencies determined Moscow had deliberately interfered in the presidential campaign.
The bill would also impose sanctions on Iran with regard to its ballistic missile activities that are not linked to the nuclear agreement the Arab country signed with the USA and other countries.
The agreement has also established a process for the Congress to review any attempt by Presidnent Donald Trump to relax, suspend or terminate the sanctions.
To take effect, the measure would also have to pass the House of Representatives and be signed into law by Mr Trump.
Amendment 232 has been attached to Bill 722 imposing sanctions against Iran, which the Senate is now debating.
While acknowledging the necessity to hold Russian Federation accountable for its alleged meddling in US elections, Tillerson also emphasized the importance of a "constructive dialogue" with Russian Federation.
In order to prevent Trump from opposing the measure, lawmakers have attached it to a bill meant to impose pressure on Iran, a move favorable to Trump. The two dissenting votes were Sen.
The power would allow congress to strengthen those sanctions in retaliation for Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 election and its actions in Syria.
Citing a senior administration official, Politico reports that though US President Donald Trump's administration supports sanctioning Russian Federation, they are anxious that the new bill will tie their hands as they are trying to rebuild relations with Moscow.
Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against the Russian Federation sanctions package.
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
"I'm concerned about it, but I don't really have the ability to dictate what the White House says to the House", Virginia Sen.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-author of the bill, said he's been updating the State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends a joint press conference in Moscow, Russia, on April 12, 2017.
A senior White House official inquired again in March, however, asking the State Department to assess if sanctions on Russian Federation were harming USA interests and whether lifting them would increase Russia's oil production and therefore help the American economy, according to The Daily Beast.