Senate passes Russia sanctions bill, pushing back against Trump

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Final approval of the bill came a day after a 97-2 vote in favor of an amendment to the Iran Sanctions bill that puts into law existing American sanctions against Russia, dealing not only with US protests over aggression in Crimea and Ukraine, but also in response to Russian cyber attacks linked to the 2016 elections.

Linking the Russian Federation sanctions to Iran measures will make it more hard for US President Donald Trump to take actions to ease sanctions on Russian Federation and would prohibit the president from doing so without Congress' approval.

The Senate on Thursday voted 98-2 for new sanctions on Iran and Russian Federation, including new powers for Congress to block President Donald Trump from rolling back any penalties against Vladimir Putin's government.

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Trump aides said Thursday that Rubio was "very helpful" to the administration as it spent months reviewing the policy. The government has though repeated its desire to engage in "respectful dialogue" with Washington .

It would make congressional approval necessary if Trump seeks to suspend or ease sanctions imposed on Russian Federation over its apparent cyberattacks during the 2016 USA election campaign.

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, ticked off a series of Russian aggressions that he said have gone without retaliation: annexation of Crimea, intervention in Syria, meddling in Ukraine and threatening North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries, as well as the US election interference.

The Senate voted 98 to 2, today, to pass the underlying Iran sanctions legislation as amended. Only Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voted against the legislation.

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But the new measures are likely to have dampening effect on United States nationals traveling to Cuba . Still, Cuba said it is willing to continue "respectful dialogue" with on topics of mutual interest.

Both Democratic and Republican members placed politics aside to offer prayers, support and camaraderie Wednesday, in an unusual show of unity on Capitol Hill.

The bill still needs to pass the House and be signed by Trump into law.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered tepid support for the sanctions measure, telling the House Foreign Affairs Committee he agreed "with the sentiment" among lawmakers that Russian Federation must be held accountable for its meddling in the election. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to push back at the legislation Wednesday at a House hearing. "I can't imagine the House would want to be apologists for Russian behavior after the combined weight of the intelligence communities all weighing in saying, "Look, they attacked the United States". Before passing the combined Russia-Iran measure, the chamber also attached a bipartisan amendment signaling support for NATO's Article 5 - which Trump earlier this month notably declined to endorse in Brussels - by a unanimous vote.

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The Lakers worked out Ball twice and saw Jackson work out in Sacramento and at the team's practice facility in El Segundo. The Sixers will have two first-rounders next season, their own and an unprotected one from the Los Angeles Lakers .

The Russia sanctions measure was added as an amendment to an Iranian sanctions bill, after a deal was struck between the heads of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees.

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