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Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Iran and Russia Sanctions

Corker Says Today Marks a Significant Shift of Power Back to the American People’s Representatives

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the Senate overwhelmingly passed, by a vote of 98 to 2, legislation he authored to strengthen and expand sanctions on Iran and Russia.

“For decades, Congress has slowly and irresponsibly ceded its authorities to the executive branch, particularly as it relates to foreign policy,” said Corker. “Today marks a significant shift of power back to the American people’s representatives, something that has been a top priority of mine since becoming the lead Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee more than four years ago.”

“With passage of this legislation, the Senate reasserts congressional authority – while providing the Trump administration appropriate national security flexibility – and sends a clear signal to both Iran and Russia that our country will stand firm in the face of destabilizing behavior and that Congress will play a leading role in protecting our national interests,” added Corker.

“I want to thank Senator Cardin, the committee’s ranking member, for working in a constructive, bipartisan fashion to craft both components of this bill,” continued Corker. “We come from two very different places, representing two very different people, but are joined by the fact that we care deeply about implementing foreign policy that is in the national interests of our citizens and believe partisanship must stop at our water’s edge.”

“I hope the overwhelming support for this legislation can serve as an example for what can be accomplished when Republicans and Democrats work together and put the interests of the American people first, and I look forward to our hearing next week that will begin the committee’s work on considering an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF),” concluded Corker.

S.722, An Act to Provide Congressional Review and to Counter Iranian and Russian Governments’ Aggression, overwhelmingly passed the Senate by a vote of 98 to 2. The Iran component of the legislation, authored by Corker and Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), expands sanctions on Iran for ballistic missile development, support for terrorism, transfers of conventional weapons, and human rights violations. The Russia provisions, authored by Corker, Cardin and banking committee chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and ranking member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), maintain and substantially expand sanctions against the government of Russia in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria.