GOP senator: I'll try to add Russia sanctions to Iran bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump-backed challenger to Cheney decried him as 'racist,' 'xenophobic' in 2016: report State Department spokesperson tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers fret over wild week of deadlines MORE (R-S.C.) is pledging to try to attach a stalled Russia sanctions proposal to a separate bill tightening financial penalties against Iran.  

"I'm glad we're doing something on Iran [sanctions], but if the bill comes out of committee on the floor I'm going to add Russian sanctions to it. Try to anyway," Graham told reporters on Tuesday evening. 
 
Supporters of slapping further financial penalties on Russia are looking for a new path forward after Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters this week that his committee wouldn't move sanctions legislation in the immediate future. 
 
Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) told reporters that he, Graham and other senators are "looking at other options" for how to get sanctions targeting Moscow through the upper chamber. 
 
"We will be looking at other options, including the Senate Armed Services Committee," McCain, who chairs that committee, told reporters. 
 
Graham and McCain put out a joint statement noting they could try to move the legislation through the Banking Committee or as an amendment on the Senate floor.
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A bipartisan group of senators, including McCain and Graham, introduced legislation earlier this year that would impose new sanctions on Russia for its meddling in the U.S. presidential election as well as ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. 

They're also backing legislation that would require congressional oversight before Trump lifted Russia sanctions tied to Ukraine. Both bills have stalled in the Foreign Relations Committee. 

Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted to give the administration time to determine the "trajectory" of U.S.-Russia relations, which he said are at an "all time low."

"We can take it to a lower level by adding sanctions. That you know might make us feel good, but that's not an outcome that I think is good for our country," he told reporters.

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinLawmakers say innovation, trade rules key to small business gains The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks House Democrat: Staff is all vaccinated 'because they don't like to be dead' MORE (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, also told reporters last week that there wasn't as much urgency behind the bill requiring Congress to sign off before Trump lifts sanctions, though he stressed he still supports the proposal.

Instead, Corker signaled that lawmakers could move an Iran sanctions bill in the current Senate work period, which runs through the end of May. 

Senators, including Corker and Cardin, introduced a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill earlier this year that would expand financial penalties targeting Iran's ballistic missile development, support for terrorism any transfer of weapons and human rights violations. 

Graham would have the ability to try to attach Russia sanctions once it gets to the floor unless Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push On The Money — GOP blocks spending bill to kick off chaotic week in congress Overnight Health Care — Presented by Alrtia — Booster shots get bipartisan rollout MORE (R-Ky.) uses the Senate's rulebook to clamp down on amendments.