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White House Objects To Congressional Efforts To Undermine Trump Russia Policy

July 13, 2017 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, the White House issued an eight-page statement of Administration policy objecting to numerous provisions of the House version of the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization bill. Among other things, the bill has become a vehicle for Congressional efforts to undermine the Trump Administration’s policy of pursuing good relations with Russia.

Among the provisions that the White House objects to are sections which require the administration to initiate a program of record for a ground-launched cruise missile that would be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and that would provide for the withdrawal of the U.S. from the treaty should a determination be made that Russia has deployed systems that are in violation of the treaty. It also links continued implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, for which there is broad support in the Department of Defense, to a required determination on whether or not Russia is in compliance with the INF Treaty.

The bill also would also prohibit the expenditure of funds to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia. This section "would interfere with the President’s exclusive authority to recognize foreign nations," according to the White House statement.

The bill also would prevent the Pentagon from entering into contracts for communication services that relay on satellites that were launched into orbit onboard Russian launch vehicles.

Separate from the defense authorization bill, House Democrats are also trying to move the Iran-Russia sanctions bill, passed earlier in the Senate, which the Administration opposes.