Congress enshrines a state of permanent US hostility towards Russia, Iran, and North Korea. From Justin Raimondo at antwar.com:
The Republican-controlled Congress couldn’t get it together on healthcare, infrastructure, immigration, or much of anything else, but, hey, they got together with the Democrats on a Russia sanctions bill: the “Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act.” If you read the text, the proportion of moral preening, rheotorical rodomontade, and blustering bloviation is unusually high, even for a bill with Lindsey Graham’s and John McCain’s imprint all over it. That it also manages to violate the terms of the Iran deal is an extra added bonus.
The meat of the bill involves tying the President’s hands when it comes to actions intended to “significantly alter US foreign policy with regard to the Russia Federation” – with the explicit understanding that the default policy is implacable hostility. Under the terms of this bill, no action designed to improve relations with the Russians is permitted. In order to take such actions, the President must first submit a proposal to the appropriate congressional committee, in both houses of Congress, which must then approve (or, more likely, disapprove) it.
This bill is, in effect, a de facto declaration of war – cold war, to be more precise. This is the Congress of the United States putting the nation – and the Russians – on notice that Cold War II has begun.
The bill is filled with self-justifying polemics, asserting that Russians have delayed or obstructed the Minsk agreements, when in reality it is the government of Ukraine which has refused to implement its part of the agreement by failing to hold local elections in eastern Ukraine, refusing to reform the constitution to comply with the Minsk accord, and continuing to bomb, strafe, and murder its own people in that region.
To continue reading: Sanctions Bill: An Ode to Hypocrisy, Groupthink, Smugness, and Cronyism