@SenatorWicker Votes to Strengthen Sanctions Against Iran, Russia

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The U.S. Senate passed a bill on toughening sanctions against Russian Federation and increased pressure on Iran.

The Senate approved the bill 98-2, with Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont voting against the measure.

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.

We hope this bill, once passed, sends a strong warning to Iran and Russian Federation that the U.S. Congress is keeping a wary eye on the two countries and that the legislative branch expects nothing less from President Trump.

The lower House of Representatives must still approve the bill before it would reach Trump's desk. "I have no idea" if the White House is adequately concerned about Russian intervention in last year's election, Corker added, but "hopefully the White House will acknowledge" the massive level of Senate support for new sanctions against Russia.

The White House will reach out to House Republicans to bring changes favored by the Trump administration to legislation approved by the Senate this week that places tougher sanctions on Russian Federation, according to news reports Saturday. "We believe the existing executive branch sanctions regime is the best tool for compelling Russian Federation to fulfill its commitments", Sanders told reporters, adding that the bill had yet to move through the house.

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Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the overwhelming passage of the measure "sends a strong signal to President Vladimir Putin while ensuring the Trump administration has the flexibility it needs".

Trump was especially effusive about Russian president Vladimir Putin during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, though his openness to closer ties to Moscow has tempered somewhat, with his administration on the defensive over investigations into Russian meddling in the election.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the chairman of the Banking Committee, said the legislation expands the Ukraine-related sanctions to ban Western companies from being involved in Russian energy exploration projects in the Arctic and elsewhere.

"We must take our own side in this fight, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans", McCain said.

If signed into law, the document would prohibit the USA president from being able to lift sanctions without Congressional approval.

- Require a study on the flow of illicit finance involving Russia and a formal assessment of US economic exposure to Russian state-owned entities. They blocked United States companies such as Exxon Mobil, where Tillerson was chairman, from investing in such projects.

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