The Republican majority US House of Representatives has blocked a Senate bill which passed 98-2 in the upper chamber. The bill would codify into Federal law, a plethora of US sanctions against Russia.
House Republicans cited a provision of the Constitution requiring all bills which regulate Federal revenue to originate in the House rather than the Senate.
The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris had previously written that the bill could be unconstitutional on even broader grounds as it interferes with the President’s ability to make and conduct foreign policy.
A spokesperson for Senate Majority leader Paul Ryan, a man many see as a Trump opponent within his own party, issued a statement on the sanctions bill saying,
“The chair of the Ways and Means Committee, in consultation with the House Parliamentarian, has determined that the Senate sanctions bill as passed is in violation of the origination clause of the Constitution, commonly referred to as a ‘blue slip’ problem”.
Although the bill could still be resurrected or amended in some form at a later date, this is a big setback for a bill that many expected to receive a rubber-stamp treatment in the House after flying through the Senate where only libertarian Republican Rand Paul and socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders opposed the original bill.