Marco Rubio Pushes Senate to Vote on Russia Sanctions Bill
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) asked key Senate committees to hold a hearing and then vote on their bill to advance Russia sanctions legislation, before the Senate leaves town for a weeklong break that starts August 6th. The Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act, would require the Director of National Intelligence to declare whether a foreign government had interfered in a federal election within a month after the election. Specifically for Russia, if the DNI determines the Kremlin interfered in a federal election, the bill requires sanctions on major sectors of the Russian economy, including finance, energy, defense, and metals and mining. “The Senate has the opportunity to highlight to the American public the real threats that foreign interference in our future elections pose, and to act to deter future foreign interference and defend our country," Rubio and Van Hollen wrote in a July 19th letter to top members of the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking Committees. Their letter came the same day the Senate overwhelmingly approved a proposal to oppose sending U.S. officials to be interrogated by Russians, after the White House announced it now disagreed with the proposal from Russian President Vladimir Putin to question former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and others, which the White House had said up until Thursday afternoon that it was considering. More here.