Russia Sanctions Bill Signed

From NYT:
President Trump signed legislation on Wednesday imposing sanctions on Russia and limiting his own authority to lift them, but asserted that the measure included “a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions” and left open the possibility that he might choose not to enforce them as lawmakers intended.

In particular, he objected to Congress interfering with the president’s power to set foreign policy by imposing waiting periods before he can suspend or remove sanctions and by effectively subverting his right to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial boundaries, clearly a reference to Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.

“This bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Mr. Trump said in a separate statement to reporters. “Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people and will drive China, Russia and North Korea much closer together.”

“Yet despite its problems,” he added, “I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.”

  • Congress has created broad new sanctions on Russian energy, banking, and financial services; intelligence and defense; and railroad, metals, and mining targets, driven by concerns over the Russian occupation of Crimea, its support for eastern Ukrainian separatists, its destabilizing role in Syria, ongoing cybersecurity breaches, and its interference in Western elections.

One of the more interesting aspects of this sanctions bill is that it did not involve close coordination with key U.S. allies in the EU. In fact, it garnered resistance from many who believe it will hinder business in the EU.

The House voted under special procedures for noncontroversial bills expected to pass with a two-thirds majority. The near-unanimity means the House could override a presidential veto.

“The bill we just passed with overwhelming bipartisan support is one of the most expansive sanctions packages in history,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement after the vote. “It tightens the screws on our most dangerous adversaries in order to keep Americans safe.”–and-set-up-veto-dilemma-for-trump/2017/07/25/ece80164-7138-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?utm_term=.439e8bef4a78