The White House is scrambling to kill a bill it thinks would limit its ability to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin due to new congressional sanctions.
Axios reported Sunday the White House doesn’t want to have its hand tied in negotiations with Putin by the bill, which was passed 97-2 by the Senate. According to the report, White House officials are making the case behind closed doors that more waivers need to be written into the bill.
Marc Short, White House legislative liaison, said the bill, as written, is too flawed.
“We support the sanctions on Iran and Russia; however, this bill is so poorly written that neither Republican nor Democratic administrations would be comfortable with the current draft because it greatly hampers the executive branch’s diplomatic efforts,” Short told Axios.
However, the report states the bill could represent a major political defeat for Trump.
If the House passes the bill, it would place Trump in the position of considering a veto of new sanctions on Russia as his first veto in office.
Such an action would be criticized by Democrats, who are already angry at the Trump administration for not doing more to punish the Kremlin for interfering in the 2016 election.