Several in Congress, particularly Democrats, are expressing outrage today because President Trump has not imposed a whole bunch of new sanctions against Russia, despite having legal pretext for doing so. They insist this is proof he’s “soft” of Russia.
The “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA), allows a whole litany of new sanctions against Russia, though the State Department says they believe the act works well enough as a deterrent, and no sanctions are needed.
CAATSA has some reporting requirements, which center on naming “oligarchs” the US believes are close to Putin, and the possibility of the US government imposing measures on Russia’s sovereign debt.
But what it was really meant to do was give the president cover to impose a whole bunch of new sanctions, nominally over the 2016 elections. Still, CAATSA did not require the president to impose such sanctions, so there appears to be little they can do about him not having done so.
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