The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved new sanctions to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. The bipartisan legislation, which passed with an overwhelming 97-2 vote, slaps new sanctions on Russia and restricts President Trump from easing them in the future without first receiving congressional approval. The deal was attached to an Iran sanctions bill that is expected to pass later this week. Top Republican senators had initially wanted to give the White House space to try improving U.S.-Russia relations, but ultimately decided talks with Russia have been moving too slowly. “We must take our own side in this fight. Not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) before the vote. “It’s time to respond to Russia’s attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common purpose, and with action.” The only two senators to vote against the measure were Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY).
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