The question of new Russian sanctions has been raised by a number of senators in both parties after the intelligence community announced in January its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of President Donald Trump.
Asked about the prospects of a veto threat, the Foreign Relations panel's top Democrat, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, told reporters Monday that while "there's no administration that wants Congress interfering" with its sanctions policy, "I think we'll have the support of the administration" for any bipartisan Russian Federation deal that might pass this week.
U.S. senators last night introducing a provision meant to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and for support for the government of Syria.
A procedural vote on the Russian Federation sanctions is planned for Wednesday, and the measure is expected to get strong bipartisan support.
Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) worked on the initial legislation after State Department officials complained about pressure from Trump aides.
It would affect "key sectors of Russia's economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways".
House and Senate committees are investigating Russia's meddling and potential links to the Trump campaign, with testimony scheduled Tuesday from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"By codifying existing sanctions and requiring Congressional review of any decision to weaken or lift them, we are ensuring that the United States continues to punish President [Vladimir] Putin for his reckless and destabilizing actions", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a statement, as cited by Reuters.
The measure also called for a study on the "flow of illicit finance involving Russia and a formal assessment of USA economic exposure to Russian state-owned entities" and assistance to Central and Eastern Europe countries who are "vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference".
With the Trump team now under scrutiny for contacts with the Russians during the campaign, many lawmakers are anxious that the White House is looking to ease up on that pressure. The review language would be structured "much like we did in other places", such as the 2015 legislation that required former President Barack Obama to submit his administration's nuclear pact with Iran to Congress, Corker said.
The White House said last week it has no plans to scale back existing sanctions against Russian Federation, as relations have soured.
The new sanctions package drawn up by the Senate this week will be attached as an amendment to a broader Iran sanctions bill that has bipartisan support.
A month later, senators introduced another measure that would require the president to get approval from lawmakers before easing Russian Federation sanctions.
The American sanctions specifically target Russia's energy sector, which makes up more than half of the country's Gross Domestic Product. If Mr Trump objects, some of the measure's backers said they expected enough congressional support to override a veto.