WASHINGTON ― Most Senate Republicans voted on Wednesday against the enforcement of sanctions on several companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The vote was 57-42 to end debate on the measure, as 11 of President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans joined Democrats to support the measure as he faces questions about his relationship with Moscow. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has introduced a parallel resolution that the House will consider on Thursday, the deadline for invoking congressional review of the sanctions move, according to a Democratic leadership aide.
The Treasury plan would keep intact earlier US sanctions against Deripaska himself, but would remove financial restrictions on the three companies following an agreement to reduce Deripaska's ownership stake to about 45 percent of each company.
"The Treasury Department - in conjunction with the State Department and our European allies, and with the right to further impose sanctions if necessary - followed the rule of law as written by letting the Russian company that met the legal qualifications have these sanctions lifted", Cramer said in a statement Thursday morning.
In pushing for the sanctions to be enforced, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said, "For a very long time, the Republican Party predicated its foreign policy on taking a tougher line against Russian Federation and Putin".
H.J.Res.30 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 362-53 and would overturn the Treasury Department's decision to roll back sanctions on companies associated with Deripaska.
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The administration had lobbied hard against the effort to stop the lifting of sanctions.
He added, "There are some legitimate concerns about whether the sanctions regime is tough enough to hold people like Oleg Deripaska from basically retaining control over this company". A similar effort failed on a procedural vote in the Senate. But several said they wanted more time to consider the move to ease sanctions on Russian Federation before making a final decision on its fate. Rusal, one of the world's largest aluminum companies.
The Treasury Department's argument for lifting the sanctions was reasonable but didn't change Boozman's mind, the lawmaker said. "I felt like he would continue to have control, and this is a bad guy", the Republican from Rogers said.
"Lifting sanctions from companies heavily influenced by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska would send a message that the United States is tolerant of global malignance", he said.
Manafort is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy against the United States. Some other Republicans who voted in favor of blocking the Russian Federation measure had criticized Democrats for bringing it up instead of agreeing to fund the wall.