WASHINGTON — The Latest on legislation in Congress that would impose sanctions on Russia (all times local):
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, says the House should vote immediately on the Russia sanctions package. He predicted the legislation would pass overwhelmingly in the House after winning 98 votes in the Senate.
McCain says, “We all know that the Russians tried to interfere in our elections. Here we are six months later and we’ve done nothing.”
The House GOP leadership has directed a review of the sanctions bill approved by the Senate and hasn’t scheduled a vote.
McCain has been pushing for hitting Moscow with additional sanctions ever since U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow ordered a hidden campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The Russia penalties are embedded in a broader bill slapping sanctions on Iran.
Legislation that would hit Russia with economic sanctions and limit President Donald Trump’s authority to lift the penalties faces an uncertain future in the House despite the bill’s heavily bipartisan backing in the Senate.
The measure won 98 votes in the Senate last week. The Republican leadership in the House has sent the sweeping sanctions package to the Foreign Affairs Committee for a review.
Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the committee’s top Democrat, says he’s concerned that sending the sanctions bill to the committee will give the Trump administration an opportunity to weaken legislation. Such a move would trigger an outcry among Democrats and some Republicans.
Any substantive changes to the bill would have to be squared with the Senate’s version.