Politics

The Senate Needs To Correct A Constitutional Violation In The Russia Sanctions Bill

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The sanctions on Russia and Iran the Senate passed on June 15 can’t go any further in its current form because it includes a provision that violates the Constitution.

The House of Representatives have been slow to consider the sanctions bill, which passed the Senate nearly unanimously with 98 votes in favor June 15, because the legislation included a last-minute provision to raise money for the U.S. Treasury. All revenue bills, according to the Constitution, must originate in the House.

“The Constitution is pretty clear: Revenue measures have to start in the House,” Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady said Tuesday. “I think the Senate can move pretty quickly to correct that provision and send it back to us. That’d be my preference.”

The bill would increase sanctions on Iran for its buildup of ballistic missiles, and on Russia for its attempts to meddle in the U.S. election. New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer says the GOP House is stalling to cover for a president who favors Russia.

“House Republicans are considering using a procedural excuse to hide what they’re really doing: covering for a president who has been far too soft on Russia,” Schumer said in a statement.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is in favor of the tougher actions, as long as the bill doesn’t have a revenue provision, according to his aides.

“The speaker has been a strong proponent of sanctions and believes we need to do more to hold Iran and Russia accountable,” AshLee Strong, press secretary for Ryan, told the Washington Examiner. “The Senate bill cannot be considered in the House its current form.”

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