Senators announce plan to bolster sanctions on Russia: report

Senators announce plan to bolster sanctions on Russia: report
© Greg Nash

The top lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee are introducing a plan to bolster sanctions against Russia, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The sanctions bill, announced by Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoDemocrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Yellen confident of minimum global corporate tax passage in Congress MORE (R-Idaho) and ranking member Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Waters hopes there's no attempt to make deep cuts to housing proposal America can end poverty among its elderly citizens MORE (D-Ohio), would take aim at Russian mining, metals and railways, according to Bloomberg.

"Despite existing sanctions, Russia remains a hostile, recalcitrant power, deploying its military, cyber-enabled information espionage activities, and economic tactics to harm the United States and drive a wedge between it and its allies,” the committee said in a statement.

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"There is significant congressional interest in ensuring sanctions on Russia are effective and proportionally enhanced, particularly in light of continuing Russian intransigence in these areas."

As a presidential candidate and since taking office, President Trump has raised the prospect of trying to improve relations with Russia, though his administration has not yet lifted sanctions on the country. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told reporters last week that Trump was "looking at" changing sanctions on Russia but said that the administration had not yet reached a decision.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the administration was also leaning toward returning two Russian diplomatic compounds in the U.S. that were seized in December in retaliation for the Kremlin's efforts to interfere in the presidential election.

The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a report in January that Russia had sought to run an extensive hacking and influence campaign to swing the election in Trump's favor. Since then, some senators from both parties have called for strengthening sanctions against Moscow.