As Trump continues the attempt to pay back the favor that Russia did for him (you know, influencing the 2016 presidential election), Democrats in the House are working hard to prevent that with the introduction of a new measure.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released a press statement announcing they would be introducing a resolution to prevent the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on Russian companies tied to Oleg Deripaska.
‘Today, I am introducing a resolution to prevent the Treasury Department from lifting sanctions on businesses controlled by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who has been sanctioned for his close relationship to President Putin and activities aimed at harming the interests of the United States.’
Deripaska is associated with the businesses United C. Rusal, En+ Group Plc, and EuroSibEnergo JSC.
The idea behind the removal of sanctions was the fact that Deripaska has agreed to reduce his ownership stake, and the move would help stabilize the aluminum market as sanctions placed on Rusal caused shares to drop.
In the press release, Hoyer acknowledged Deripaska had agreed to limit his stake in his companies; however, he noted Congress still needed to vet Deripaska.
‘It is imperative that Congress has the opportunity to vet in full any settlement regarding Mr. Deripaska including whether the proposed settlement sufficiently restricts Mr. Deripaska’s control of key companies. Mr. Deripaska has been key to much of the malign activities Russia directs against the United States, and the Congress must protect the American people against foreign interference and corruption.’
It isn’t just the House that has concerns about the Trump administration’s desire to lift the sanctions. Reuters reported that even some Senate Republicans take issue with the move as they voted to disapprove the sanction lifting.
‘The result marked a rare break from President Donald Trump. Eleven of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to vote 57-42 in favor of a motion to proceed to the resolution of disapproval.’
POLITICO reported four of the senators who voted to move the resolution along were Sens. Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner, Marco Rubio, and Susan Collins.
With its passing, the Senate will now debate and vote on the resolution.
However, all that means is Republicans want a little more time to talk and be convinced by the Trump administration to go ahead with their plan. Furthermore, Republicans still hold the Senate and the plan could be vetoed by Trump in the end (it would be).
The sanctions would only apply to Deripaska’s companies. Any sanctions placed on him would still apply.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer noted sanctions should not be lifted before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election is over.
‘It is deeply suspect that the Trump administration would propose sanctions relief for Deripaska’s companies before the special counsel finished his work. We should not allow any sanctions relief for President Putin’s trusted agents or the companies they control before the conclusion of the investigation.’
It definitely is beyond suspicious that the Trump administration would attempt to lift sanctions. Then again, the Trump administration did inquire into lifting sanctions on Russia only days after Trump’s inauguration.
Featured image via YouTube screenshot.