New York’s Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has announced that he will be soon introducing a bill that, if passed, would force any lifting of sanctions against Russia to be approved by Congress.
Even though it seems like a long shot to actually get such a bill passed, seeing as it directly targets a key part of the new president’s agenda and the Senate is controlled by Republicans, it might actually not be.
Schumer, in his Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, announced that not only does he plan to soon introduce such a bill, but he has bipartisan support for the measure, with Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham in on the effort as well.
Stephanopoulos, in the course of his interview, asked the newly minted Senate Democratic Leader:
‘Let me ask you about Russia. President Trump suggested in an interview that he may seek a deal with Vladimir Putin, where he would lift the sanctions — President Trump — in return for a nuclear arms reduction. Is that a deal you could sign onto?’
Schumer’s reply was blunt:
‘That would be horrible. And, in fact, we are so averse to it that Senator Cardin and I are introducing legislation this week to say that, before the president could reduce any sanctions on Russia, that it would have to be passed by Congress. but we have bipartisan support. Senators McCain and Graham are supporting this legislation.’
At present, the U.S. President has the power to lift sanctions without Congressional approval.
He went on to explain exactly why the possibility of sanctions being repealed would be so very “horrible,” saying:
‘For us to repeal sanctions, given what Russia has done in Ukraine and threatened the Baltics and, now, they have clearly tried to intervene in our election– whether it had an effect or not, that is something — that’s a danger that we have never faced to this extent in American history. We repeal sanctions, it tells Russia, “Go ahead and interfere in our elections and do bad things” It tells China, it tells Iran. That would be terrible.’
Schumer is definitely not going off of conjecture here. He’s simply observing the fact that Russia committed illegal acts against the United States — and the world — and now Donald Trump wants to completely erase any trace of the nation’s response to those actions.
Check out a video of Schumer’s appearance on This Week below.
Featured Image via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/ AFP/ Getty Images.