Tester Sponsors Bipartisan Bill to Prohibit President from Unilaterally Lifting Russian Sanctions
Legislation Holds Russia Accountable for Cyberattacks and Illegal Invasion of Ukraine
(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is sponsoring bipartisan legislation to prohibit the President of the United States from unilaterally lifting U.S. sanctions against Russia without approval from Congress.
Tester's bill, the Russia Sanctions Review Act, will prevent President Trump - or any future President - from unilaterally undermining existing U.S. efforts to hold Russian leadership accountable for the 2016 cyberattacks and Russia's illegal invasion and annexation of Ukraine.
"I am working with Republicans and Democrats to hold Vladimir Putin accountable and make it clear that Montana and America will not tolerate Russian aggression," Tester said. "Until basic questions are answered, and more transparency is shed on this Administration's relationship with Russia, no President should have the authority to single-handedly roll back sanctions that were put in place with strong bipartisan support."
Tester's bill will provide a two-step check on any effort by any President to waive, suspend, or reduce sanctions against Russia.
First, the President must submit any proposal regarding Russian sanctions for review to multiple Congressional committees, including Tester's Senate Banking Committee.
Second, the President must certify that the Russian government has agreed to grant Ukraine complete territorial sovereignty and cease all cyberattacks against the U.S. government and its citizens.
Congress will have 120 days to review the President's proposals and pass legislation to approve or disapprove his proposed actions. The President will not have the authority to lift or waive these sanctions while Congress reviews his proposals.
Tester last month called on President Trump to maintain sanctions against Russia following the President's private conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tester successfully called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the U.S. Justice Department's investigation involving Russia and Trump officials after he failed to disclose multiple conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
President Trump's former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned earlier this month after reports surfaced that he may have participated in illegal conversations with top Russian officials about the future of U.S. sanctions against Russia.
Tester's bipartisan bill is cosponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).