House Tees up Sanctions Bill, but Senate Path Uncertain

House to consider imposing sanctions on Iran, Russia, North Korea

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer predicts his chamber will pass a sanctions bill that has been held up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer predicts his chamber will pass a sanctions bill that has been held up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:51pm

A bill that aims to impose sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea is up for a vote on the House floor Tuesday and leadership involved in negotiating terms of the legislation expect it to pass with little fanfare. But the measure would still need to clear the Senate, and it is unclear what the timetable is there for consideration.

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday that among the bipartisan compromises that were reached is a provision that would allow all members of the House to bring forth resolutions of disapproval should the president decide to withdraw sanctions on the three countries.

Democrats objected to sending the bill back to the Senate for technical changes after language to allow the minority party to bring forth such resolutions was stripped.

Another deal reached would limit the president’s power to lift sanctions and gives Congress the power to reject such a move. 

The bill establishes new sanctions and enhances existing ones. It also codifies sanctions in executive orders by President Barack Obama in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine and Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It is unclear if President Donald Trump will sign the bill and he has expressed objections to provisions that limit his power, saying that Congress typically grants the president the right to lift sanctions when it comes to matters of national security.

Hoyer said should the president decide to veto the bill, he expects Congress to override that veto.

“This is a statement Congress wants to make,” the Maryland Democrat said.

Earlier, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce of California also lauded bipartisan efforts on the bill, saying it would increase the U.S.’s economic and political leverage.

However, Royce’s counterpart in the Senate, Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, said the bill’s progress in the Senate isn’t a done deal.

“Maybe not, ” Corker said in response to a question of whether he feels the Senate will be able to clear the sanctions package before the August recess. Corker noted the House went against Senate advice in including North Korea sanctions that some senators are not done reviewing.

Rachel Oswald contributed to this story.