McConnell 'open' to new Russia sanctions
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) said Friday that he would be open to passing new sanctions against Russia if they get bipartisan support.  

"If [the administration] feel they need additional sanctions, or we can come up with something that seems to enjoy bipartisan support, I'd be open to it," McConnell said when asked if he would support additional sanctions on Russia. 
 
McConnell added that he would "willing to talk" to Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate campaign fundraising reports roll in Congress should take the lead on reworking a successful Iran deal North Korea tensions ease ahead of Winter Olympics MORE (R-Tenn.) about additional sanctions over Russian President Vladimir Putin's continued support for the Assad regime in Syria. 
 
"I think it's certainly good that the administration's not lifted any of the existing sanctions," McConnell told reporters. "The Russians are not our friends. I think they've demonstrated that over and over and over again." 
 
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A bipartisan group of senators — including Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Meghan McCain says her father regrets opposition to MLK Day MORE (R-Ariz.) and Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCongress should take the lead on reworking a successful Iran deal 'Fix' the Iran deal, but don't move the goalposts North Korea tensions ease ahead of Winter Olympics MORE (D-Md.) — introduced new sanctions against Russia earlier this year. 
 
Their bill has 19 cosponsors, including Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Hoyer suggests Dems won't support spending bill without DACA fix MORE (R-Texas) the No. 2 Senate Republican. But it has not been taken up for the Foreign Relations Committee, and neither Corker nor McConnell have signed on to the bill. 
 
Corker said earlier this year that he is working on his own Russia bill, but signaled that it would be broader than other legislation. 
 
Senators have grappled with how to respond to Russia over its meddling in the presidential election as well as its ongoing military efforts in Ukraine and support for Assad in Syria. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also conducting a review of Russia's election interference.
  
Senators introduced legislation earlier this year to prevent Trump from lifting any Russia sanctions tied election meddling or Ukraine without oversight from Congress. 
 
Asked whether lifting some sanctions was on the table, senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News earlier this year that "all of that is under consideration," but Trump separately has called the speculation premature. 
 
McConnell also said earlier this year that Trump should not lift existing sanctions against Moscow.