Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

The 97-2 vote, which came as part of a broader debate over sanctions on Iran, marked a rare spot of agreement between Democrats and Republicans, who said they hoped it would be the beginning of more such deals.

If it passes the House, President Donald Trump would have to either sign or veto a bill that the White House has had little response to so far.

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. Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders were the only two "no" votes.

"This amendment is also an important step as we continue its efforts to reassert congressional authority", Corker said.

Adopted overwhelmingly as an amendment to an Iran sanctions bill, the measure targets Russia's cyber espionage entities, energy sector, financial interests, and the flow of Russian weaponry to war zones like Syria.

On Wednesday, United States Senate has overwhelming voted to make way for allowing new sanctions against Russian Federation in order to punish the latter's alleged interference in the US election of 2016.

The bill establishes a review process for Congress to have a say whether the White House eases Russian Federation sanctions.

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In addition, within 180 days after the introduction of amendments, the head of the U.S. Treasury Department must submit a report on the possible consequences of extending sanctions on Russia's sovereign debt to the Congress.

"This bill will impose sanctions on Iran for its non-nuclear violations", Cardin said.

Lawmakers have long sought to hit Iran with more sanctions in order to check its ballistic missile program and rebuke Tehran's continued support for terrorist groups.

"What I wouldn't want to do is close the channels off", Tillerson said.

Democrats insisted that the Congress should also respond to Russia's aggressions, including its annexation of Ukraine, attacks in Syria and interference in the US election.

The White House has yet to announce its position on the legislation, and whether it approves of a process of congressional review that would essentially restrict the president's actions with regard to Putin's government.

The administration said Russia had been using the facilities for intelligence gathering; when they were shuttered, 35 Russian operatives were also expelled from the country. "It is unacceptable for Russian Federation to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world".

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