Despite comments from the administration in recent days suggesting they were satisfied with the changes made to the Russia sanctions bill, President Trump’s signing statement on the bill was an outright condemnation, insisting it improperly encroaches on his power, and hurts European allies.
And while he clearly had big problems with the bill, he signed it anyhow, saying he plans to work with Congress to “make the bill better,” even though it’s already the law of the land now. After struggles within Congress to get the bills through, there is little appetite to re-negotiate it.
In reality, Trump didn’t have a lot of choice on the matter, as the overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate meant they could’ve easily overridden a veto if he’d offered it, which would’ve been politically embarrassing, particularly on a Russia-themed bill.
The bill imposes new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and limits the president’s ability to remove sanctions without Congressional permission. Russia and Iran have threatened retaliation over the bill, as has the European Union, which fears the bill is going to target German energy companies.
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