President Donald Trump has signed a bill that will bolster the sanctions imposed on Russia after the legislation soared its way through Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Part of Trump’s agenda, as raised numerous times during his presidential campaign last year, was to repair the strained relationship between Russia and the United States. The expanded sanctions — outlined in a bill that was reportedly forced onto the president’s desk — might have the opposite result.
According to The Washington Post, this latest development marks another blow for Trump’s administration, which has yet to pass any major legislation. The Post also reported that the White House believes the actions of Congress infringed on the Commander-in-Chief’s executive powers.
Nevertheless, the Senate managed to swiftly float the new embargoes from Capitol Hill to the White House, buoyed by the compelling bipartisan support; an unprecedented achievement for the largely divided sitting membership of the legislative branch of government.
In fact, the sanctions outlined in the bill are so popular amongst lawmakers that it received a veto-proof majority vote.
Despite having signed the law, various reports in recent weeks indicate that the president is less than happy about the new restrictions against Russia – punitive actions that could potentially damage what has so far been an amicable relationship between Trump and Putin.
According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, “The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I am very happy about that.”
“We were clear that we didn’t think it was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that’s the decision they made,” Tillerson elaborated.
At the heart of Trump’s concerns with the legislation is the opinion that Congress may have overstepped its authorities and is treading on the president’s toes, as reported by Bloomberg News.
Moreover, Trump has warned that the sanctions may hurt the United States’ partnerships with international businesses. It might also limit America’s abilities to work with its allies regarding Russia-related foreign policy.
President Vladimir Putin has preemptively responded to the latest set of sanctions against his country by ordering over 750 U.S. embassy staffers to leave Moscow immediately. Russian authorities have also moved to take control of America’s local diplomatic properties.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]