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White House Reportedly Working With House GOP to Weaken Russian Sanctions

However, with the bill heading to the House, it appears that the White House is now working with House Republicans to weaken the legislation and restore President Donald Trump's power over the sanctions.

The Russia sanctions measure was added as an amendment to an Iranian sanctions bill, after a deal was struck between the heads of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees.

It's not clear what exact changes the White House wants to make to the bill, or that those changes would actually weaken the proposed penalties against Russian Federation, but Senate Democrats have been attempting to sound an alarm over just that possibility.

House Republicans are expected to review the Senate-passed sanctions bill in the coming weeks, an aide told Politico.

Trump officials have been eager to crack down on Iran's non-nuclear illicit activities, and have squeezed the country with additional sanctions while they conduct a comprehensive Iran policy review.

The bipartisan legislation passed overwhelmingly Thursday, 98-2, more than five months after US intelligence agencies determined Moscow had deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

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The White House hasn't weighed in on the legislation but says it's "committed" to the existing Russian sanctions. This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the new sanctions would hamper diplomacy with Russian Federation.

The measure also gives Congress the ability to block attempts by President Donald Trump to lift sanctions against Moscow. Thursday's legislation punishes Iran for its ballistic missile testing and human rights violations, and applies terrorism sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Graham, a South Carolina Republican who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, says the unanimous vote "should reassure our allies and give notice to our enemies that America stands firmly in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our Article 5 commitment". It's not like the sanctions are a surprise to President Putin, who has been following the anti-Trump hysteria in Washington fairly closely.

The American Jewish Committee praised the bill's passage. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rand Paul of Kentucky were the only votes against the bill. Two Obama era State Department officials were alarmed at the review and told Senators Ben Cardin and Lindsey Graham that it appeared the president wanted to lift sanctions on Russian Federation.

"Russia is still associated with Trump, with the mechanics of his election". It also places additional sanctions on specific industries, including the country's mining, shipping and railway industry.

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