The Senate has clinched a deal to exert power over President Trump when it comes to sanctions on Russia, according to a key senator involved in the talks.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said lawmakers have struck an agreement that includes allowing Congress to weigh in before Trump can lift current sanctions against Russia. He said staffers are now reviewing the legislative language.
“I think we’re there. We’re going through the [legislative] language in here now, but we’ve reached an agreement,” Corker told a small group of reporters.
A senior Senate aide said they are “getting close to a deal, but are still reviewing language.”
Corker added that the language “definitely” includes congressional review, which would give Congress oversight over the lifting of sanctions, but Corker didn’t specify if it includes new sanctions on Moscow.
“It’s what we did on Iran. So I would like to have congressional review on everything we do. … It’s basically set up much like we’ve done on other places,” Corker said.
The Hill added:
“His comments come after senators signaled earlier on Monday that they were closing in on a deal on Russia sanctions.
Lawmakers have been locked in talks for roughy a week about adding new financial penalties on Russia, limiting Trump’s ability to lift current sanctions or impose new ones. The Russia measure would be added to a separate Iran bill that is on the Senate floor.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) predicted that lawmakers could announce an agreement as soon as Monday evening, though he acknowledged talks also could stretch into Tuesday.
“We hope that by tonight we might be able to have an agreement on an amendment. If we don’t, we’ll continue to work,” Cardin told reporters.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said at a White House event that he hopes lawmakers finalize their agreement on Monday, according to Bloomberg.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday that the bill “at the very least” should give Congress the ability to block Trump from lifting sanctions.
“Democrats feel strongly that Russia sanctions should move alongside Iran sanctions and we’re prepared to do what we can to make sure that we get a vote on a good amendment,” he said.
Schumer said after Corker’s comments that lawmakers “have not yet reached a final agreement, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to do so.”