Moran 1 of 11 Republicans to break with Trump on Russian Federation sanctions

Moran 1 of 11 Republicans to break with Trump on Russian Federation sanctions

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Senate Republicans last week to convince them to support the Trump administration's desires to lift the sanctions.

Mnuchin said after his closed-door meeting with Republican senators that the sanctions "shouldn't be a political issue".

A total of 11 Republican senators joined all Democrats in the January 15 vote, which clears the way for formal debate followed by a final vote on the resolution.

As part of the deal, Rusal agreed to reduce the ownership stake held by the oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

The Senate voted 57-42 to proceed to a resolution from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would reverse the Trump administration's decision to lift sanctions on the firms, a vote Schumer forced under a provision in a 2017 Russian Federation sanctions law. Treasury's agreement maintains sanctions on corrupt Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

McConnell said Republicans are "hardly strangers" to the need for strong policies on Russian Federation.

A vote is due to be held in the US Senate today on a move to block the lifting of sanctions affecting Aughinish Alumina in Limerick.

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Democrats said they thought it was too soon to ease sanctions on Russian Federation, given Russia's continued aggression in Ukraine and the conclusion of USA intelligence agencies that Moscow sought to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House.

Schumer said that if senators agree with McConnell that Putin is a thug, "they'll vote yes" on the resolution.

Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, introduced a similar resolution of disapproval in that chamber on Tuesday.

Congress has until Thursday to reject the decision to weaken the sanctions.

Democrats have asked for an extension of the 30-day timeline because the sanctions announcement came just before a holiday recess and the start of the government shutdown. Mnuchin said after the meeting.

"Our view is that we have great responsibility in managing the sanctions programs all over the world, and we take those responsibilities very seriously at Treasury", Mnuchin said. John Kennedy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Marco Rubio (Fla.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Ben Sasse (Nebr.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), and Jerry Moran (Kans).

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