On July 25, the House of Representatives passed the Countering America’s Allies Through Sanctions Act (HR 3364), setting up a vote in the Senate and a showdown with President Trump. This bill is an omnibus of three separate sanctions measures: the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act (“CIDAA”), the Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act (“CRIEEA”), and the North Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (“NKIMSA”). Together, they make a forceful, bipartisan statement that Congress supports the application of robust sanctions as a cornerstone of US foreign policy. However, they also may put President Trump in the difficult position of receiving a strong Russia sanctions bill as he seeks to repair relations with Russia and members of his administration are embroiled in Russia-related controversies. Moreover, the Senate has yet to take up the bill, amid concerns about the NKIMSA provisions, which has prompted Democratic finger-pointing that Republicans are delaying the bill to avoid sending the President a Russia sanctions package.
Russia Sanctions: Congress Flexes its Muscle
As Steptoe has previously discussed in our alert and on the blog, CRIEEA would authorize – and at times require – the President to impose significant new sanctions on the Russian energy, financial, and defense sectors. The Senate has previously passed two versions of this bill, and the House version includes further amendments designed to allay some concerns from the US energy industry and EU allies. In particular, CRIEEA would do the following: Continue Reading