Immediately after a bill imposing tougher sanctions on Russia and limiting Donald Trump’s ability to lift them passed the Senate with overwhelming support last month, House Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team buried it over procedural concerns, claiming the legislation should have originated in the House. At the time, Trump officials just happened to be lobbying House lawmakers to weaken the measure.
The Senate subsequently tweaked the bill and resent it to the House. And Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut made a push Wednesday on Morning Joe to revive the bill, saying it had stalled in the House precisely because of Trump’s resistance to it.
“The mystery is, why hasn’t the Trump administration taken a forceful stand in supporting this measure, this sanctions bill?” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal insisted that there is no question the bill has support in the House, and would be passed if the Trump administration would give it the green light.
“I think it has to do possibly with financial and business dealings, as well as the possibility that he is simply resisting the meddling investigation conducted now by the special counsel,” Blumenthal said.
The bill has now gained pushback from special interest groups in the energy sector—in particular, a special interest group with connections: Exxon Mobil Corp. Along with other energy companies, Exxon is arguing that it could hurt their bottom line if it affects their joint ventures with certain Russian partners.
Exxon’s advocacy also presents a potential political problem for the Trump administration, which has been trying to avoid conflict-of-interest questions involving Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the oil giant’s former chief executive.
Mr. Tillerson, who has promised to recuse himself from matters involving Exxon, hasn’t explicitly spoken out against the sanctions bill, but last month urged Congress not to take any actions that tie the administration’s hands.
Well, this is a shocker—Tillerson doing the bidding of his Exxon buddies who are lining up with the Russians, while Paul Ryan looks the other way and Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 with “no specific agenda.” Wonder who’s going to come out on top there?
Seems like the “collusion” Trump so vehemently denies took place during the election continues to be on full display and Paul Ryan is totally complicit.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.