Russia trade bill likely headed to Obama desk

"I hope we will make this statutorily global. We will have that debate at a later date," Cardin said. 

The House bill on the Senate floor only applies human rights provisions to Russia, and attempts to amend it could have led to a stalemate with the House. Big business lobbyists, opposed to the sanctions in the bill, have been keen to limit the Magnitsky provisions just to Russia. 

Russia joined the World Trade Organization this summer, and until the U.S. grants normal relations to Russia, U.S. exporters cannot benefit from concessions Russia made in order to enter the WTO. Under Jackson-Vanik amendment from the 1980s, PNTR is denied to Russia over the Soviet Union's denial of exit visas to Jews wanting to emigrate to Israel. 

The main objection to the bill was on the human rights issue. Even trade skeptics like Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownMajor progressive group unveils first 2018 Senate endorsements Congressional leaders unite to protect consumers Mnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing MORE (D-Ohio) are on board given concessions the Obama administration has been able to wring from Russia in the WTO process.