Schumer Floor Remarks Calling on Republicans to Reconsider The Resolution To Disapprove Sanctions Relief on Russia After Overwhelming Bipartisan House Vote In Favor Of The Resolution

January 17, 2019

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor urging Senate Republicans to reconsider a resolution to disapprove the Treasury Department’s proposal to ease sanctions on three Russian companies. Leader McConnell blocked Leader Schumer’s unanimous consent request, meaning the resolution could not be reconsidered. Below are his remarks:

We’ve spent the past few days debating the resolution of disapproval of the Treasury Department’s plan to relax sanctions on Russia.

We’ve made clear that treasury’s plan is insufficient and let’s Putin and his cronies off the hook. We’ve made clear that Putin’s malign activities around the globe have not abated. We’ve made clear that there is no reason to relieve sanctions on one of our chief adversaries when there has been no conciliations, and in exchange for nothing.

Earlier this week, 11 brave Republicans joined us on the motion to proceed and again on cloture, but it was not enough for passage. So many other Republicans who have campaigned that Democrats are not tough enough on Putin, when they had a chance to be tough on Putin, ran for the exits. I just want to let my colleagues know that earlier today the House was different, and in this case, far more courageous. The House passed the same resolution of disapproval 362-53. Republicans by a more than 2-1 ratio, more than 2-1, voted to not allow the loosening of sanctions on Deripaska’s Rusal. One thirty six of them joined with the unanimous – unanimous – support of House Democrats to pass the resolution.

So now two votes – two small votes – stand in the way of passage here in the Senate. Let the overwhelming, bipartisan House vote be a message to my Republican friends in the Senate: we should pass this resolution! We should not let Putin get his way simply because President Trump has always wanted him to too often.

So I’m going to shortly reconsider the resolution before it expires tonight at midnight. I strongly urge my friend the Leader not to block the request and give Republican Senators a chance to change their minds on this incredibly important motion.

So I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 14, H.J.Res.30 that the joint resolution be considered, read for a third time. And the Senate vote on passage with the 60-vote affirmative threshold with no intervening action or debate. And if the joint resolution fails to achieve 60 votes for passage, it be returned to the calendar.