The Senate voted to advance legislation blocking President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE’s plan to lift sanctions against three Russian companies despite an eleventh-hour effort by the administration to kill the bill.

Senators voted 57-42 to begin debating the resolution, with only a simple majority needed to get over the initial hurdle.

Though only a procedural vote, it’s the latest foreign policy break between the Trump administration and Senate Republicans, who have been wary of his warmer rhetoric toward Moscow.

It comes amid reports that the president has discussed pulling the United States out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

“I do disapprove of the easing of the sanctions because I think it sends the wrong message to Russia and to the oligarch and close ally of Mr. Putin, Oleg Deripaska, who will in my judgement continue to maintain considerable [ownership] under the Treasury’s plan,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWhoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Team Trump offering 'fire hose' of conspiracy Kool-Aid for supporters MORE (R-Maine) told reporters.

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In addition to Collins, GOP Sens. John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanBusiness groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Romney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' COVID-19 relief talks look dead until September  MORE (Ark.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Warnock hit by Republicans over 'cannot serve God and the military' comment MORE (Ark.), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesRick Scott tests positive for coronavirus Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (Mont.) Cory GardnerCory GardnerHillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities Democrats vent to Schumer over Senate majority failure MORE (Colo.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Rush Limbaugh lauds Hawley: 'This guy is the real deal' Trump told advisers he could announce 2024 bid shortly after certification of Biden win: report MORE (Mo.), John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (La.), Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump nominee's long road to Fed may be dead end McSally, staff asked to break up maskless photo op inside Capitol McSally's final floor speech: 'I gave it my all, and I left it all on the field' MORE (Ariz.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act: Save jobs and stabilize the aerospace industry Lobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans MORE (Kan.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics MORE (Fla.) and Ben SasseBen SasseWhoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' Hogan 'embarrassed that more people' in the GOP 'aren't speaking up' against Trump Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump MORE (Neb.) voted to proceed to the resolution on Tuesday.

The same senators also helped block a separate effort from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.) to pigeonhole the measure.

The setback for the administration comes after it announced plans late last month to relax sanctions on the three businesses — Rusal, EN+ and EuroSibEnerg — connected to Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Under the 2017 sanctions bill, Democrats are able to force a vote on a resolution to block the administration from lifting the financial penalties.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led a lobbying effort to try to squelch concerns on Capitol Hill about the decision. He met with House Democrats last week and pitched Senate Republicans during a closed-door lunch Tuesday, hours before the vote.

Mnuchin declined to say if he believed the administration had the votes to prevent the Senate from passing the resolution of disapproval but argued it shouldn’t be a “political issue.”

But he added that the administration believed the sanctions against the three companies should be lifted because Deripaska’s ownership in the entities has fallen below 50 percent.

“We put together an agreement that we think meets the requirements of the laws and the regulations to do this,” Mnuchin said.

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Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoDemocrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed Shelton's Fed nomination on knife's edge amid coronavirus-fueled absences Bottom line MORE (R-Idaho) echoed Mnuchin in opposing the resolution to block the sanctions from being lifted.

“I will vote 'no' today because this was a hard-fought negotiation resulting in one of the strongest agreements ever, which supports long-standing U.S. sanctions policy and foreign policy toward Russia,” he said.

GOP leadership had been tight-lipped about whether they would be able to pull together the simple majority needed to sink the Democratic resolution, noting a swath of their members wanted to hear from Mnuchin.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump keeps tight grip on GOP amid divisions MORE (R-S.D.) said “a lot of our members are anxious to ask questions” of the Trump administration before the vote.

“Whether we get on it, is still kind of an open question, I think,” Thune said.

McConnell separately knocked Democrats for forcing the Russia vote even as they are blocking a GOP foreign policy bill as part of their shutdown strategy.

"It was all just a farce. The Democratic leader doesn't actually mind doing other business because he now intends to bring a privileged and political stunt of a motion relating to the administration's use of sanctions against Russia,” McConnell said.

Democrats needed to win over at least four Republicans to advance the resolution, provided they could also unite their own caucus.

They could still face a 60-vote threshold filibuster of the measure before a final passage vote, which would require them to get 13 GOP senators.

Gardner, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and a vulnerable 2020 incumbent, said on Tuesday that he would support the resolution.

"I anticipate voting to overturn the decision by the administration," Gardner told reporters.  

Rubio added that while he “appreciated” the Treasury Department’s effort, “for all intents and purposes between his shares, the independent shares that the Russian state owned bank control, and various other individual shareholders I still think he retains operational control … So they’re going to have to do better.”

Democrats announced over the weekend that they would force a vote to stop the Trump administration from being able to lift the sanctions.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.), making a pitch to his colleagues before the vote, said opposing the resolution would be a “vote to go easy on President Putin and his oligarchs.”

“Putin’s Russia continues to run rampant over international norms,” Schumer added. “Show me the behavior from Vladimir Putin that warrants such relief? I can’t think of any. I’ll put 90 percent of all Americans can’t think of any.”

Both chambers would need to pass a resolution of disapproval by Thursday in order to block the administration from lifting sanctions. House Democrats have asked for an extension from the Treasury Department, but Mnuchin declined to discuss the issue on Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (D-Md.) said Tuesday he is introducing a resolution to prevent the Trump administration from lifting the sanctions. 

“Today, I am introducing a resolution to prevent the Treasury Department from lifting sanctions on businesses controlled by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who has been sanctioned for his close relationship to President Putin and activities aimed at harming the interests of the United States,” Hoyer said in a statement.

He added that “Deripaska has been key to much of the malign activities Russia directs against the United States, and the Congress must protect the American people against foreign interference and corruption.”