The House on Tuesday voted to lift the sanctions against Moscow after the Trump administration announced that it would suspend the economic and financial sanctions it imposed against Moscow for its role in the annexation of Crimea.
The sanctions, announced last week, are designed to punish Russia for its military intervention in Ukraine.
The vote was 217 to 204, with Democrats voting for the sanctions and Republicans voting against them.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he was happy to have the House pass the legislation but said he is concerned that it will be too little, too late to reverse the Obama-era sanctions.
“We’ve had some of the strongest sanctions against any country in history imposed on Russia and we’ve had a very good relationship with Russia and a strong relationship with the president,” he said on the House floor.
But Democrats have criticized the move as insufficient, arguing that the Obama administration’s sanctions had gone too far and were not sufficiently broad.
Ryan said the sanctions were not designed to stop Russia from using its influence in Ukraine to influence the country’s future and called on Trump to reinstate the sanctions.
“We need to do everything possible to restore our relationship with our friend and ally, Russia, and make sure we’re not going to lose a great partner and ally,” he told reporters.
“That’s our top priority right now.
We’re going to work with our allies, our partners around the world, but we’ve got to make sure that we have the sanctions that we need to restore a relationship that has been broken.”
Ryan also called on Obama to rein in Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The sanctions that the president imposed are being used to further the agenda of the Kremlin,” Ryan said.
“They’re being used in an effort to advance their agenda.”
The House passed the bill by a vote of 217 to 202, with the support of House Democrats, who included Reps.
Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) and Jackie Speier (Calif.), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).