The House Democrats are in full honey-badger mode right now against Trump. Representatives just introduced a new version of the Russia and Iran sanctions bill that sends a message to Trump saying to maintain a hard line against Moscow.
Sanctions Have Been Stalled
Ever since June 15th, the sanctions have been stalled in the House after the Senate passed legislation 98-2. The Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee were seeking to force House Republicans into a vote and the legislation has remained unchanged from what the Senate originally passed. While the new bill is identical to the Senate’s, it will be labeled as House legislation to avoid procedural issues that prompted House Republicans to send it back to the Senate.
So far there is no support from the House and Senate majority. A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, AshLee Strong, dismissed the action as “grandstanding.” The measure what introduced by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Steny Hoyer and Eliot Engel. Democrats are accusing the Republicans of stalling the sanctions because of the Trump administration concern about provisions setting up a Congressional process to approve any effort by the president to ease sanctions on Russia.
Trump’s attempts have obviously been hindered because of the Russian investigation and Donald Trump Jr.’s emails about meeting with a Russian woman who had incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. The news of Trump Jr.’s emails led to a new urgency to push the sanctions through.
Republicans are “Dilly-Dallying”
House Republicans said they have not taken up the sanctions because it violates a constitutional requirement that all legislation affecting government revenues originate from the House which is known as the “blue slip” issue. Democrats and some of the Republicans that back the bill say the problem could have easily been remedied. The Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker said, “Dilly-dallying around about the blue slip issue was just a ridiculous waste of time. we could have fixed it in five minutes.”
The new bill that was introduced Wednesday will eliminate the change to allow House Democrats and Republicans to force vote a resolution of disapproval to ease any Russian sanctions. The original sanctions were written as an amendment to a bill imposing new sanctions on Iran issues including its ballistic missile program. It also puts into law sanctions previously imposed on Moscow via presidential executive order and introduces new sanctions.