The House legislation, which would go into effect 45 days after being enacted, was a response by lawmakers to the escalating public anger over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that also helped force Biden’s hand despite the administration’s concerns about the effect on energy prices.
Russia, in response to Biden’s decision, issued a vague order, saying it would restrict trade in some goods and raw materials in response, but left out key details about which products might be affected.
The president could waive prohibitions when that is “in the national interest of the United States.” Yet that is subject to a resolution of disapproval by Congress.
The measure also takes steps to review Russia’s access to the World Trade Organization and reauthorizes and strengthens the Magnitsky Act, which calls for sanctions on human rights offenders.
The legislation doesn’t include a provision revoking permanent normal trade relations status for Russia, which key lawmakers in both parties had proposed. That provision, which would have allowed tariff increases on the full range of Russian exports and spelled out conditions for restoring Russia’s status, was removed after a request from the White House, a person familiar with the discussion said.
It wasn’t clear, however, what the legislation’s fate would be in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Biden’s action to ban Russian energy imports but so far has made no commitment to having his chamber take up separate legislation.