A bill to block Donald Trump from easing sanctions on Russia passed both the House and Senate this week with overwhelming support. The legislation now heads to Trump’s desk, leaving many to wonder if he will veto the bill.
The bill passed the House on Tuesday with a vote of 419-3 and then passed the Senate on Thursday, 98-2. Although it would be futile for Trump to veto the bill because they clearly have the numbers to override him, the option hasn’t been taken off of the table.
He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are, or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians,” said Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new White House communications director.
Despite Scaramucci’s comment, many lawmakers don’t think Trump will try to use his veto power to fight this particular piece of legislation since it would obviously be a losing battle.
“I had a conversation with the President just in the last few days, I’ve talked to (Secretary of State Rex) Tillerson Tuesday night. I don’t think that’s real,” said Senate foreign relations committee Chairman Bob Corker. “I just can’t imagine — you look at the vote count.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said that if Trump did decide to veto the bill there is no doubt that Congress will override it without a second thought.
“This bill gives the President a strong hand. Vetoing the bill is a weaker hand,” Cardin said. “If he vetoes the bill, it shows presidential weakness toward Russia.”
For what it’s worth, Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that he will retaliate and insisted that the new sanctions are clearly “illegal under international law.”
All we can do now is wait and see what Trump does. Will he abide by the will of Congress and the American people? Or will he once again cuddle up to Putin?
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images