By MARK HAIRDENDENSource: Al Jazeera English/Al Jazeera English via APTrump’s new sanctions bill was tabled on Tuesday after months of lobbying from some Democrats and Republicans in Congress to toughen sanctions against Russia, a move expected to anger Moscow and further isolate the Trump administration as the nation’s leadership tries to revive the economy.
Trump has called the measure a “disaster” for American businesses and the economy and accused the Obama administration of waging “the greatest economic war” since World War II.
The sanctions would be the first since Trump took office in January and would take effect within 30 days of the legislation’s passage.
It is unclear how the new legislation will affect US-Russian relations, however, and could further complicate the Trump-Putin relationship, which has been mired in a series of crises since the U.S. ousted its former Cold War adversary in 2014.
A bill that would have banned Americans from buying goods from Russian companies was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday, but not the Senate.
The legislation will now go to the Senate for consideration.
Democrats and Republicans, led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have been united in their opposition to the bill, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that Democrats would oppose it as well.
The White House had no immediate comment on the new bill.
Russia is also set to take the next steps to retaliate against the new sanctions, after a report from the Financial Times said the Trump team was in talks with the Kremlin to create a global currency.
The report said Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed setting up a new Russian currency, the ruble, with a senior adviser to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The new sanctions package includes measures to limit access to US financial markets, freeze American financial assets and ban American persons from dealing with entities controlled by Russia’s central bank.
It also seeks to impose new sanctions on senior members of the Trump transition team, including Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor, as well as Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a former adviser.
The sanctions bill is expected to be passed by the Senate and is expected by the end of the week, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Treasury Department said on Monday it had approved the legislation to ban Americans from owning US currency, impose new US sanctions on top members of Trump’s team and ban people from dealing in Russian currency.
It said the measures would be in place for 90 days, after which it would be removed and replaced with a new bill that does not impose new restrictions on Americans.
It was not immediately clear if the new measure would include the measures that would impose sanctions on Conway, who was the Trump campaign’s spokeswoman during the 2016 election and was an early supporter of Trump.
The Senate has not yet taken up the bill.
A White House spokeswoman said in a statement on Tuesday: “The administration will continue to monitor the progress of this bill, which includes significant economic and financial penalties.”
Trump’s push to reinstate sanctions on Russia, and to make a major push to bring the economy back to health, was met with opposition from Democrats and from many Republicans in the House.
Trump has accused the country of having an “economic war” against Russia.
The House on Tuesday voted in favor of the sanctions bill, but Democrats blocked it.
The Senate passed the measure last month, but was not given the opportunity to take up the legislation.
In a sign of how deep the rift between the White House and congressional Democrats is, Trump announced on Monday that he had given his support to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, a longtime ally of his, to try to bring back the sanctions on the administration.
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Schumer said the bill was a “good idea” and that Trump had indicated he would be willing to work with Schumer.
In his first public remarks on the sanctions legislation, Trump said he believed that sanctions on Russian officials would be “an absolute disaster” for the US economy.
He said it would cause a “great economic crash.”
Trump has accused his predecessor, President Barack Obama, of waging an “unfair economic war against Russia” and has blamed the Kremlin for hacking into Democratic Party emails and releasing them for publication by WikiLeaks.