WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation on Wednesday that would impose tough sanctions on Russia, but there was no indication of when the measure - called the sanctions bill “from hell” by one sponsor - might come up for a vote in the full Senate.
The vote was 17-5 to advance the bill in the Republican-controlled committee. All five “no” votes came from Republicans, including the chairman, Senator Jim Risch, as well as Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, Johnny Isakson and John Barrasso.
The legislation must pass the full Senate and House of Representatives before it can be sent for Trump to sign into law or veto.
Lawmakers, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, have been pushing the president to take a harder stance against Russia over election interference, aggression toward Ukraine and involvement in Syria’s civil war.
The measure advanced on Wednesday, titled the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act and known as DASKA, was introduced in February by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the foreign relations panel. Graham dubbed DASKA the sanctions bill “from hell” because it would impose strict and broad penalties.
Targets of DASKA sanctions would include: Russian banks that support efforts to interfere in foreign elections; the country’s cyber sector and new sovereign debt. It also would impose strict measures on Russia’s oil and gas sector. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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