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The Editors

The Senate's Message to Russia (and Trump)

Congress is wisely reasserting its prerogatives on foreign policy.
Congress wakes up.

Congress wakes up.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With its 98-2 vote to expand sanctions against Russia, the U.S. Senate has effectively served notice on two great powers in Washington: Russia, which may have to face new costs for its meddling in the 2016 U.S. election; and President Donald Trump, who will have to contend with congressional input on U.S. policy toward Russia.

The bill, which also strengthens penalties against Iran, would put into law sanctions that had been imposed by former President Barack Obama and not allow Trump to ease or lift them without congressional review. It also would allow new sanctions on state-owned entities in Russia, such as those which engage in “malicious cyber activity” or supply weapons to Syria.