Last night, Thursday, July 27, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” by a vote of 98-2. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday after adding in new sanctions against North Korea. Among other things, the legislation would impose additional sanctions against Russia and restrict President Trump’s ability to withdraw or relax previous Russian sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration. To learn more about the bill, please see our July 26th post. The Senate created the bill back in June, where it also passed 98-2, before sending it to the House. Despite reports that the addition of North Korea would result in a delay from the Senate, the Senate passed it just over 48 hours after the House.
Russia has already retaliated over the bill being passed. They have instructed the U.S. to reduce the number of diplomatic personnel in Russia to 455 and seized holiday properties and a warehouse used by U.S. personnel.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say Thursday whether the president would sign or veto the bill, saying, “We’re going to wait and see what that final legislation looks like and make a decision at that point.” In any event, the bill’s margins of passage in both the Senate and House of Representatives suggest that the bill has enough support for Congress to easily override any presidential veto.
Husch Blackwell will continue to monitor this legislation and other sanctions matters. If you or your company have any questions, please contact Cortney Morgan, Linda Tiller or Grant Leach.