Russian sanctions bill actually empowers Russia to block US energy investment worldwide
House Republicans are throwing up new roadblocks to a Russia and Iran sanctions bill over concerns from the energy industry that a provision could block U.S. companies from lucrative foreign oil deals.Democrats have let their hatred of Russia carry them to an attack on the US energy industry and would harm US national security. It is ironic that their distrust of Trump actually gave the industry time to challenge this bad provision.
A section of the legislation would prevent U.S. companies from doing business anywhere in the world with Russian interests, causing consternation in the capital-intensive energy industry where foreign partnerships are common. That prompted Republicans to push for a fix to the version passed by the Senate before the bill moves forward in the House.
“You’re empowering Russia more based upon the way they wrote it, that you can give Russia greater energy power over Europe and everywhere else,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, said in an interview Wednesday evening. “So yes, we do need to change that.”
Republicans previously said the measure was stalled over complaints from Democrats that changes to the bill would weaken lawmakers’ authority to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on Russia. The delay gave time for companies to scale up their lobbying on the energy provision, even as lawmakers from both parties are pushing hard for new constraints on President Donald Trump’s ability to ease penalties on the Russian government.