Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) blasted the Trump administration on Wednesday for missing its October 1 deadline to name the Russian entities that would be punished under the bipartisan sanctions bill passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of Congress.
“The delay calls into question the Trump administration’s commitment to the sanctions bill which was signed into law more than two months ago, following months of public debate and negotiations in Congress. They’ve had plenty of time to get their act together,” the senators said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
“We wrote the Administration on September 28, strongly urging them to develop a robust and comprehensive implementation plan for all aspects of the law and to work in close consultation with Congress to ensure a fulsome reflection of congressional intent,” McCain and Cardin said. “We again request that the administration respond to our letter, and engage Congress in a serious way moving forward.”
The sanctions bill required the Trump administration to clarify which targets would be identified and punished as part of Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors in response to Russia’s tampering in the 2016 presidential election. The administration missed the Oct. 1 deadline.
The Hill added:
Also on September 29, Trump issued a memorandum delegating most of the responsibilities of making the decisions outlined in the bill to members of the Cabinet. Trump passed the authority to determine who counted as military or intelligence to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“[T]here does not appear to be a significant diplomatic effort to engage our allies in Europe and lead an effort to increase pressure on Moscow. Congressional intent was clear, reflected in the overwhelming bipartisan majority in favor of the legislation,” they said.