In a 419-3 vote, the House of Representatives has approved the Russia sanctions bill, which has also seen sanctions against both Iran and North Korea tacked on in an effort to ensure near unanimity over sanctioning at least somebody among them.
The bill’s primary focus is to limit the ability of President Trump to ease sanctions against Russia, requiring him to first get Congressional approval for such moves. The three opponents were Rep. Justin Amash (R – MI), Thomas Massie (R – KY), and John Duncan Jr. (R- TN).
Though the White House had initially objected to the bill as limiting presidential powers, they’ve since indicated that President Trump will sign it. That’s only going to happen, however, if the bill gets through the Senate, and there’s no guarantee on that happening.
That’s because despite all the wrangling in the House, Senate officials still say their version has stumbling blocks, and there’s no timetable for any sort of vote on a Senate version of this bill yet, with the possibility of getting one comparable to the House still uncertain.
Congressional hawks praised the bill for its various sanctions against favored targets. The European Union, however, has warned that if the House sanctions end up targeting German companies that do business with Russia (mostly energy importers), they should expect EU retaliation in the form of sanctions against the US.