Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would force a Senate vote to block Trump’s attempt to ease sanctions on 3 Russian companies.
Leader Schumer said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “After consultation with the relevant committee ranking members and my colleagues, I have concluded that the Treasury Department’s proposal is flawed and fails to sufficiently limit Oleg Deripaska’s control and influence of these companies, and the Senate should move to block this misguided effort by the Trump Administration and keep these sanctions in place. Furthermore, given Mr. Deripaska’s potential involvement with Paul Manafort and the fact that the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation has not yet concluded its work, it’s all the more reason these sanctions must remain in place. I urge all of my Senate colleagues to vote to reverse the Administration’s wrongheaded decision to relax these much-needed sanctions.”
Schumer can move to block Trump’s relaxing of sanctions due to The 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). All Schumer has to do is bring up a privileged motion to block Trump’s action. It only takes 51 votes to move the resolution forward. Sixty votes are required to invoked cloture, and then 51 votes are required to pass the resolution.
This isn’t some long shot gambit on the part of Schumer. The only issue where Senate Republicans have shown a consistent willingness to break with Trump is on Russia sanctions. After the reporting of the past weekend of Trump being investigated by the FBI for working on behalf of the Russians, and Trump’s hiding of all records of his face to face meetings with Putin, Senators from both parties should be alarmed.
If Schumer can get 60 votes to invoke cloture, this resolution will pass.
Trump is trying to deliver on why the Russians helped him win the election, but Chuck Schumer is leading the charge to make sure that the sanctions stay in place.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Follow Jason Easley on Facebook.