Congressional Democrats announced on Saturday that a bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a sweeping package of sanctions to punish Russia for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the number two House Democrat, said lawmakers had settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. The sanctions targeting Russia, however, have drawn the most attention due to Donald Trump’s persistent push for warmer relations with Vladimir Putin and ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.
Passage of the bill, which could occur before Congress breaks for the August recess, puts Congress on possible collision course with Trump. The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would mandate a congressional review if Trump attempted to ease or end the sanctions against Moscow.
If Trump were to veto the bill, he risks sparking an outcry from Republicans and Democrats and having his decision overturned. The sanctions review was included in the bill because of wariness among lawmakers from both parties over Trump’s affinity for Putin.
The precise mechanics of how involved House Democrats would be in the review process had been a key sticking point, but Hoyer said he was pleased with the outcome.