House Republican leaders want to attach a bill increasing sanctions on North Korea to legislation to restrain the president and stiffen punitive measures against Russian Federation and Iran, a last-minute wrinkle that could further delay the bill's progress through Congress.
Meanwhile, Congressman Joaquin Castro introduced a Resolution of Inquiry directing the Secretary of State to provide Congress with any documents or communications records related to efforts to modify or revoke sanctions against Russian Federation. Pointing out that Trump "fawns over Putin" while trying to loosen sanctions imposed against Russia for interfering in the election, Pelosi wondered "what do the Russians have" on Trump.
The House version of a bill that intends to dramatic limit the ability of President Trump to ease sanctions on Russian Federation appears to be effectively stalled, as the House leadership attempts to re-do the bill, adding new sanctions against North Korea to it.
The new bill introduced on Wednesday would eliminate that change to allow House Democrats, as well as Republicans, to force a vote on a resolution of disapproval of any effort to ease Russian Federation sanctions.
Marc Short, the White House legislative director, said Monday that the sanctions review section "sets an unusual precedent of delegating foreign policy to 535 members of Congress".
Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, a member of the foreign affairs committee, said he would push a resolution to uncover the details of the Trump administration's push to weaken sanctions against Russian Federation. "And that's why I say, why would he want me?"
The Russia and Iran sanctions bill, which the Senate passed last month on a vote of 98 to 2, stalled as lawmakers argued over technical changes House Republicans leaders insisted were necessary to get the measure through their chamber.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat, Maryland Sen.
A lawyer for Donald Trump Jr. did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The White House has been talking to lawmakers about amending the bill with national security waivers. "I would not and have never even thought about taking them off".
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, said Democrats still were objecting to moving the bill in its current form.
Officials from the Treasury and State departments met last week with House congressional staff in a belated attempt to voice their concerns over the congressional review.
The senators' measure would give Congress review power over any changes the president might try to make to North Korea sanctions policy that is nearly identical to the review power over Russia sanctions written into the Russia-Iran bill.
She went on to list potential charges without providing further context: "Criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States, impeding the lawful administration of a federal election or to make an offense against the United States, cybercrime, hacking against USA citizens-the Clinton campaign". "To the extent to where we can have oversight we're going to take it, in my opinion, and that's why I've introduced these types of amendments".