The bill codifies existing sanctions against Russian Federation, while expanding punitive measures against Moscow over Russia's activities in Syria and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
The bill from the Senate called for "new sanctions against Moscow over its continued involvement in the wars in Ukraine and Syria and for its alleged meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election", and sought to "punish Tehran for ballistic missile tests and the engagements of the country's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps", per the Washington Post. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., asked him about the Russian Federation sanctions bill. But he said the sanctions review requirement is a "very important" part of the legislation. "My guess is those who are trying to weaken and defeat the bill are using every opportunity they can to do that".
The authors note that "California Republican's uneasiness underscores the growing anxiety among House GOP Russia hawks, who are concerned that the White House's clandestine lobbying campaign to water down the bill could make them seem soft on Russia".
The House version of the bill includes a substantive change that reduces the oversight powers of the Congress. Without the legislation, the executive branch can decide to reverse the sanctions on its own. It also puts new sanctions into place on Russian Federation, and codifies existing sanctions that former President Obama enforced through executive action.
Another portion of the bill would prohibit US citizens and entities from exporting goods, nonfinancial services and technology in support of deep-water, Arctic offshore or shale-exploration projects involving Russian concerns.
In light of Robert Mueller's special investigation into the Trump campaign's Russian Federation ties, senior staffers have found themselves "effectively paralyzed...as they struggled to respond" to the Don Jr. bombshell, and many have distanced themselves from the president's son.
The news of the meeting in Trump Tower a year ago also came just days after Mr. Trump tweeted that sanctions didn't come up in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit over the weekend.
"Really none", Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, answered when asked what role the White House played in developing the legislation.
"Any administration would prefer to conduct foreign policy 100 percent without involvement from Congress", Corker said.
He said only 48 of 197 nominees have been confirmed.
House Republicans first raised parliamentary concerns with the sanctions bill. They said the bill could have been fixed and passed in the House in a matter of minutes. They are refusing to give consent for a procedural vote that would allow the bill to go back to the Senate to be amended until that language is removed.
"I'm continuing to have conversations with my Republican colleagues regarding the Russian Federation sanctions bill", Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the number two House Democrat, said.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R., Texas), who is one of the president's allies, has also voiced concern that provisions in the bill could hurt energy companies in his state.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., has served in the House since 2011.
"Our concern is that the legislation, we believe, sets an unusual precedent of delegating foreign policy to 535 members of Congress by not including certain national security waivers that have always been consistently part of sanctions bills in the past", White House Legislative Director Marc Short told reporters on Monday.