Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic effort to keep sanctions on companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, ending what was the most aggressive congressional pushback so far on the Trump administration's foreign policy toward Russia. In a symbolic vote Thursday in the House, 136 Republicans joined Democrats to disapprove of the Treasury deal.
"Lifting sanctions from companies heavily influenced by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska would send a message that the United States is tolerant of worldwide malignance", he said. 'Because we can not be sure we have removed the heavy hand of this Russian oligarch, I can not support the delisting of these sanctioned entities at this point and time, ' Rep McCaul said. Mnuchin made two trips to Capitol Hill to try to convince lawmakers that the deal was sound, arguing that keeping the sanctions would hurt the United States economy and that Treasury had put in place regulations where an independent third party would control the shares that Deripaska relinquished.
Mnuchin had lobbied GOP senators to vote against Schumer's resolution.
Senate aides said Treasury officials had approached senators and staff repeatedly in recent days to argue that it was appropriate to lift the sanctions because Deripaska had agreed to cut back his controlling stakes.
Democrats are questioning the administration's motives at a time when Special Counsel Robert Mueller is continuing his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to Trump's campaign.
Treasury last month said it meant to lift sanctions the US imposed previous year against Deripaska's companies, including a major aluminum producer, while keeping sanctions intact against Deripaska himself.More news: Pompeo calls for ending Gulf dispute during Qatar visit
"Why is the Trump administration proposing sanctions relief when President (Vladimir) Putin has not yet made any move to curtail or contain his malevolent activities around the globe?" asked Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who forced the vote on the resolution.
Mnuchin's House briefing came after seven new committee chairmen demanded he hold a briefing in the Capitol, one of the first moves of the new Democratic House to scrutinize Trump's actions related to Russian Federation.
"The sanctions on Russia and Russian oligarchs, like Mr. Deripaska, stay in place".
David Knower, David Crane and D. J. Baker have been identified as independent individuals who may, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, exercise the voting rights attaching to certain shares of the company, as required by the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, En+ said.
"The agreement (to lift the sanctions) was requested by our European allies, including Great Britain and the European Union, so the company can continue to operate in Europe", Hoeven said. The measure is unlikely to pass given the Republican majority in the chamber.
In one sense, the Treasury Department's policy toward Deripaska is in sharp contrast to the Trump administration's broader hard-line stance against Russian Federation.