WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the sanctions bill signed into law by President Trump. The bill, which passed the Senate twice 98-2, also had overwhelming support in the House of Representatives.
“I am relieved that H.R. 3364, the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanction Act’ is now law. I thank all of our partners who worked on this legislation in the House and Senate over the past seven months on a bipartisan basis. When I introduced S. 94, the ‘Counteracting Russian Hostilities Act’ with Senator McCain and eight Democratic and Republican Senators at the beginning of the new Senate this year, I sought to send a clear message to Moscow that its attack on our democracy and continued actions in Ukraine and Syria were not acceptable. That bipartisan effort in January was an important first step towards the consensus legislation that emerged in the House and Senate last month.
“This is not about President Trump and his negotiation skills, it’s about America. Each of these countries present serious challenges for the United States and the new law gives our country a stronger hand in dealing with Russia, as well as Iran and North Korea.
“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure that this law is fully complied with by the Administration. Unity with our allies is critical — I expect the administration to deploy diplomats and Treasury officials in the coming days to work closely with our allies around the world and lead a sustained effort to enhance pressure on Moscow. I remain very concerned that this Administration will seek to strike a deal with Moscow that is not in the national security interests of the United States. This important legislation will help to prevent that eventuality and I stand ready to exercise the congressional review provisions, which are now laid out in statute.
“I also look forward to working with appropriators to ensure that provisions of the law focused on building resiliency in the democratic institutions of our allies across Europe and Eurasia is fully funded. The government of the Russian Federation continues to aggressively interfere in those democratic institutions across the continent and we need to help our friends build their defenses.”