Schumer, Cardin Announce Legislation To Make Any Proposed Changes By President Trump To Nation’s Russian Sanctions Regime Subject To A Vote In Congress

U.S. Sanctions Regime In Place For The Last Three Years Have Crippled Russian Economy And Seriously Weakened Vladimir Putin’s Standing At Home; Senators Affirm The Sanctions Put In Place Last Month By President Obama In Response To Russia’s Interference In Our Election Were Absolutely Right Thing To Do New Schumer, Cardin Legislation Mirrors 2015 Legislation - First Introduced By Republicans And Overwhelmingly Passed In The Senate -- That Forced Congress To Vote On Whether The President Could

January 22, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Ranking Member Ben Cardin today announced new legislation that would make any proposed changes by President Donald Trump to the U.S.’s Russian sanctions regime subject to a vote in Congress. The Senators noted that the U.S. Sanctions regime in place for the last three years is comprehensive and has had a crippling impact on the Russian economy and has seriously weakened Vladimir Putin’s standing in his own country. The Senators also reaffirmed their belief that the sanctions put in place last month by President Obama in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election were the right thing today and urged President Trump to strengthen, not roll back, these sanctions on Russia. The new legislation, which Leader Schumer and Ranking Member Cardin will introduce in the Senate this week, mirrors 2015 legislation, first introduced by Republicans and overwhelmingly passed in the Senate, that forced Congress to vote on whether the President could lift sanctions on Iran.

Specifically, the legislation from Leader Schumer and Ranking Member Cardin states the President shall consult with Congress on any proposed policy changes affecting sanctions on the Russian Federation and may not implement any such changes prior to an affirmative vote by Congress approving such changes.

“Every member of Congress, Democrat and Republican, should have a say over lifting sanctions when it comes to our adversaries - especially when it's a response to interfering in our democratic institutions,” said Leader Schumer. “Just like every member of the Senate voted to subject any changes to our Iran sanctions regime in 2015, I hope and urge President Trump and Republicans in Congress to both support this bill and increased sanctions on Russia, and oppose any attempts to roll back existing sanctions.”

“President Trump must understand that sanctions against Russia demonstrate our will to hold them accountable for their aggression against the United States and other nations around the world,” said Senator Cardin. “Before making any decision on lifting sanctions, the Trump Administration must consult with Congress.  In fact, we need more not less sanctions which is why I worked with Senator McCain and my bipartisan colleagues to fashion a series of additional steps the President can take. Russia has made its intentions clear and the Congress must act.”