House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Limiting Trump’s Power to Lift Sanctions on Russia

Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Sanders was asked about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other topics. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on Tuesday limiting President Donald Trump’s power to lift sanctions on Russia should the relationship between the two countries improve.

Just three Republicans, Reps. Justin Amash (MI), John Duncan Jr. (TN) and Thomas Massie (KY), voted against the measure which passed by 419-3, meaning it has a veto proof majority.

The legislation, which also imposes new sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran, will now move to the Senate, where both parties have indicated a desire to revise the bill.

“This is a strong, bipartisan bill that will increase the United States’ economic and political leverage,” Rep. Ed Royce, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told reporters Tuesday.

As part of the legislation, America will impose sanctions on Russia for their alleged interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, as well their failure to implement a ceasefire in Ukraine. Further sanctions will also be placed on Iran and North Korea for their widespread support for terrorism and development of missile technologies.

However, it remains unclear whether Trump will sign the bill, with newly appointed White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, telling reporters on Monday that although Trump generally supports the legislation, he won’t make a final decision until he is presented with the final copy.

“The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting these sanctions in place,” she said. “We support where the legislation is now.”

Meanwhile, another White House official added: “The administration supports sanctions on Russia and Iran and supports the direction the bill is headed, but won’t weigh in conclusively until there is a final piece of legislation and no more changes are being made.”

The measure comes a day after Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner directly addressed the media over the Russia conspiracy, stating that allegations of collusion were false.

“Let me be clear, I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did so,” Kushner said. “I had no improper contacts, I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses, and I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.”

You can follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.