Several republicans on Tuesday joined with unanimous Democrats to keep alive a resolution which opposes the Trump administration’s decision to reduce sanctions against Russia and rebuked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House, Fox News informed.
The action confirmed the increased partition in the foreign policy between members of the Republican Party, whose leaders have sparred with the Trump administration on many topics.
“We’re only a few Republican votes short of the U.S. Senate telling Putin he can’t run the show no matter what President Trump and his administration try to do,” Schumer said in a statement. “If Republican Senators agree with Leader McConnell, who said that Putin is a ‘thug’ – they’ll vote yes tomorrow.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was urging senators on Tuesday to vote against Schumer’s resolution, which called for maintaining sanctions on companies related to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The measure would block a Treasury Department move, announced in December, to lift penalties against the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies to Deripaska.
The 2017 sanctions law permits Congress to override the White House’s effects to reduce penalties on Russia, but a 60-vote threshold would effectively be required to defeat Trump’s potential veto.
Mnuchin had a meeting with the Republican senators hours before a planned Senate vote on the Schmer sanctions resolution.
“We have been tougher on Russia with more sanctions than any other administration,” Mnuchin said, speaking to reporters after the meeting.