Correction 1/17/18: Even though the US House members on a bipartisan basis nixed President Trump’s request to lift the sanctions against the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska by a vote of 362 to 53, it looks like this rebuke doesn’t stop the president from lifting the sanctions.
On January 17, 2019, I caught the following Washington Post update with the news that the US House members of the US Congress, on a bipartisan basis nixed the republican President Donald Trump’s request to lift the sanctions against the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is known to be a close friend to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and who had ties to the US president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
On the 16th of January I had been so disappointed that the US Senate members had approved the lifting of these sanctions. As per the 1/16/19 New York Times, “Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a vote to enforce sanctions against the corporate empire of an influential ally of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but the effort fell three votes short of the 60-vote threshold required to advance the measure. The vote was 57-42, with one Democratic senator not voting.” This is the vote that counted.
The absentee Democratic Senator was Bernie Sanders. His excuse was that he had scheduled a meeting with his 2016 campaign workers to listen to their complaints around the time that the vote was in process. The other disappointment which shocked me was when Senator Mitt Romney voted in favor of lifting these sanctions. It looks like he’s turning out to be another Senator Flake.
Here’s the developing story as reported by Jeanne Whalen of the Washington Post…
“In a rebuke to the Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans joined House Democrats in opposing a Treasury Department plan to lift Russian sanctions against companies controlled by a Vladimir Putin ally.”
“The 362 to 53 vote registers formal House disapproval of plans to relax sanctions against companies controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, and comes despite last-minute appeals by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. A similar measure narrowly failed in the Senate this week, despite 11 Republicans breaking ranks to vote with Democrats.”
“Treasury said it intends to lift sanctions the U.S. imposed last year against Deripaska’s companies, including a major aluminum producer, while keeping sanctions intact against Deripaska himself.”
“Treasury said it plans to lift the company sanctions because Deripaska agreed to reduce his ownership of the companies below 50 percent. His reduced stake would protect the companies“from the controlling influence of a Kremlin insider,” Treasury said.”