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Foreign Affairs Democrats to Trump: Enforce Russia Sanctions

Oct 26, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Led by Ranking Member Eliot L. Engel, 20 Democratic members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have demanded that the Trump Administration enforce Russia-related sanctions passed as part of the major sanctions legislation that Congress overwhelmingly passed last summer. In a letter to President Trump, the lawmakers also sought an explanation for why the Administration flouted the law's 60-day deadline for telling Congress what sanctions they will impose on Russia for its attacks on American democracy during last year’s election.

The members wrote, “We supported this bill in part because the Administration has done nothing to hold Russia accountable. If the executive branch ignores its responsibility to keep our country safe, we as lawmakers in a coequal branch of government are obligated to take action. We strongly encourage you to abide by the law and dole out a tough response to those who sought to undermine our democratic institutions from overseas.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

October 25, 2017

The President

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The Administration’s failure to enforce the Russia-related sanctions mandated by the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (P.L.115-44) ignores the clear will of overwhelming bipartisan majorities that passed this legislation in Congress. Furthermore, it deepens concerns over your campaign’s and Administration’s ties to Russia.

As you know, the law includes a firm deadline for the Administration to provide Congress with details about how you will enforce these sanctions. This deadline is now three weeks past. When can we expect this information? Why has your Administration ignored the explicit provisions of a law that you signed?

This inaction is baffling and unacceptable. It allows Russia or any other hostile actor to believe they can attack American democracy with impunity. And it sends a terrible message about American leadership on the global stage.

We supported this bill in part because the Administration has done nothing to hold Russia accountable. If the executive branch ignores its responsibility to keep our country safe, we as lawmakers in a coequal branch of government are obligated to take action. We strongly encourage you to abide by the law and dole out a tough response to those who sought to undermine our democratic institutions from overseas.

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