Senate approves sanctions bill to punish Russian Federation for election meddling

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If passed, the new Russian Federation provisions would make it more hard for Trump to relax sanctions against the country. This too easily passed, with a 98-2 result.

The initial Iran bill imposes sanctions on any foreign person or foreign entity that does business with an entity already designated by the administration that has a connection to Iran's ballistic missile program. The sanctions targeted Russian energy products as well as "mining, metals, shipping and railways and".

Trump administration officials, however, have expressed some concerns with the package.

A senior administration official said the White House is unhappy with measures in the Senate bill created to limit Trump's ability to ease the sanctions without congressional approval.

"Time and again, the Obama administration abused its executive authority to bypass Congress, and this legislation ensures that Congress both now and in the future will be able to weigh in on behalf of the American people", Corker said.

Additionally, the legislation imposes terrorism-related sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an arm of the regime tasked with exporting its terrorist ideology.

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A day earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a plea for patience from lawmakers in relation to Russian Federation, saying the administration feared being "handcuffed" by the new measure. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.

"[Russian President Vladimir Putin's] brazen attack on our democracy is a flagrant demonstration of his disdain and disrespect for our nation", Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said ahead of the vote. Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress last week he believes he was sacked by Trump to undermine the agency's Russian Federation probe.

Lawmakers advanced the measure just days after it was announced by Banking Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho and Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee, both of them Republicans belonging to Trump's party, as well as the ranking Democrats on the those panels, Sherrod Brown of OH and Ben Cardin of Maryland. "Russians guilty of conducting cyber attacks or supplying weapons to Syria's government", according to Reuters.

"It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common goal, and with action", said Republican Senator John McCain.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Democrats pressed for and succeeded in adding a measure that would restrict President Donald Trump - whose administration has been entangled in investigations into ties to Russian officials - from lifting the sanctions unless approved by Congress.

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