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Bipartisan Bill Sanctioning Russia and Iran Hits Procedural Roadblock

by Countable | 6.21.17

A bipartisan bill that expands sanctions on Russia and Iran has hit a parliamentary snag in the House of Representatives less than a week after the Senate passed it on a 98-2 vote. House lawmakers say that there’s a "blue slip" violation in the bill (not to be confused with the Senate’s blue slip rule — more on that later), and that they’ll need to work with the Senate to resolve the issue before they can pass it.

Blue slip violations in the House occur when the Senate sends the lower chamber a bill involving taxes and spending that didn’t originate in the House, going against the requirement by the Constitution’s Origination Clause that:

"All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

It’s worth noting that the framers of the Constitution included the Origination Clause as part of the Great Compromise between large and small states as a way of offsetting the lack of proportionality in the Senate that made large states unhappy.

The Senate has blue slips too?
It does, and they’re completely unrelated to blue slip violations in the House.

In the Senate, a blue slip is provided by the senators who represent the home state of a judicial nominee to the chair of the Judiciary Committee to signify that they support the nominee. Traditionally, if either of the state’s senators doesn’t return a blue slip the chair won’t move ahead with nomination, giving individual senators from a judicial nominee’s home state significant power over their fate.

What does this mean for the bill?
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said that "I think the Senate can move pretty quickly to correct that provision and send it back to us," and he wouldn’t insist his committee hold a hearing on the bill once it’s fixed. Brady added:

"At the end of the day, this isn’t a policy issue; this isn’t a partisan issue. This is a constitutional issue that we’ll address in a positive way.”

Read more about the bill, cast your vote on it, and tell your lawmakers what you think of it by following the link below:

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Kremlin / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(127)
  • JaredThePoet
    06/22/2017
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    Get this passed and level the sanctions on Russia that they do rightly deserve. The fact that it has taken this long to do anything against a power that interfered with our democracy is humiliating. Either stand up to Russia, or lose in re-election...your call.

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  • Lori
    06/22/2017
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    Let's make this easy for you. Pretend the Russians are democrats....

    Like (53)
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  • Paul
    06/22/2017
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    Hang ups like this are unacceptable. It's a part of why Americans are so fed up with their elected officials. Get the job done and move onto something to improve the lives of American middle and lower class and the unfortunate around the world.

    Like (48)
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  • Kathy
    06/22/2017
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    Put your country before party for once!

    Like (39)
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  • Tracey
    06/22/2017
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    I am reading my representative is holding this up. It's been almost a year and you still have not taken action against a foreign power that interfered in our elections ! Why can't you get anything done!?

    Like (38)
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  • Sandra
    06/22/2017
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    This is ridiculous. Where are your ethics

    Like (33)
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  • Donald
    06/22/2017
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    Typical Conservative hesitation to do the right thing...

    Like (29)
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  • Ed
    06/22/2017
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    This is playing Politics with our Security

    Like (26)
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  • Betty
    06/22/2017
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    Pass sanctions on Russia

    Like (23)
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  • Kim
    06/22/2017
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    Congress just needs to pass this bill asap. With all the investigations going on with the possibility of the president colluding with the Russians, this should be a non-brainier. Please do not water this bill down. Russia should be heavily sanctioned for meddling in our election and the president should NOT be allowed to change it!

    Like (21)
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  • Kathy
    06/22/2017
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    Whatever it takes sanctions against Russia should be kept and more added.Everyone understanding how Russia effected our elections. For those who wanted to act like it didn't happen, what are they trying to hide?I have a problem with more sanctions on Iran if it compromises the deal that was negotiated with President Obama and other countries.

    Like (18)
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  • denali
    06/22/2017
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    This is outrageous. Uphold sanctions and impose stinging sanctions now. Outrageous. Just get it done NOW.

    Like (14)
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  • Sara
    06/22/2017
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    Healthcare is a majority that has to go through but Russia can wait that makes no sense

    Like (12)
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  • Kevin
    06/22/2017
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    I understand that we have constitutional safe guards in place to insure a more level playing field but for crap sake didn't the Senate know this snag was coming? And if they didn't. Why not? It's your job to know this stuff. Get through the red tape and get the sanctions in place against Russia. Even if the president isn't sure anything happened all the security agencies are certain they did, and will continue to try to disrupt our free election system. So get off your hands and make this happen.

    Like (12)
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  • jweland
    06/22/2017
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    Get this passed and level the sanctions on Russia that they do rightly deserve. The fact that it has taken this long to do anything against a power that interfered with our democracy is humiliating. Either stand up to Russia Republicans, or lose in re-election...your call.

    Like (11)
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  • Joel
    06/22/2017
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    Enough of the procedural roadblocks. It's time the US took forceful action against Russia for interfering in our election. Russia's actions are tantamount to an act of war. And all we're talking about is sanctions. Why are the Republicans refusing to act? Let's get this bill to Trump and have him sign it into law.

    Like (10)
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  • Joanne
    06/22/2017
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    Get the bill and the sanctions passed asap. So far Russia is playing with our Democracy as a cat plays with its toys!

    Like (8)
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  • Tiffany
    06/22/2017
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    Drop this bill, it's ridiculous. Why create 1 bill to sanction 2 countries with no recognizable, logical link? Russia, fine. Why exactly are we sanctioning Iran (again) when they are currently fighting ISIS and abiding by the nuclear agreement? Let this bill drop, and let's start having a real conversation about why we are still sanctioning when sanctions have been proven to have little to no effect (in some cases they actually strengthen regimes). We should also have a discussion on why we are more than happy to support oppressive regimes, often supplying them with huge stockpiles of weapons, despite the fact that they fund terror, i.e. Saudi Arabia. We could also discuss how CIA meddling helped precipitate the Islamic Revolution (Mossadegh), and should give us the historical lesson to keep our nose out of other countries' politics unless they directly threaten us. Although we do need to take strong and direct action against Russia, sanctions are not the answer. Protecting Eastern Europe against Russian incursion, expelling Russian diplomats, establishing better election cyber security, and even... just not allowing our president to relay classified information to them... those would be better routes.

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  • bnsonger-ky
    06/22/2017
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    Get the sanctions going against Russia and Iran.

    Like (7)
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  • Sally
    06/22/2017
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    Kind of makes you wonder if this isn't the reason this bill passed in the first place. They voted for it knowing this would happen and it wouldn't be implemented. Let's see if corrective action us indeed taken. If not my cynicism may prove to be well founded

    Like (5)
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