The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is chastising President Donald Trump for ignoring a deadline to decide whether Russia should face sanctions for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a military-grade nerve agent.
The chairman, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., in a letter to Trump on Thursday that was obtained by NBC News, said Trump’s enforcement of existing sanctions that punish chemical weapons users “is critical to deterring additional attacks.” He said Trump’s administration had already blown through the statutory deadline by more than a month, and gave the president a new deadline of two weeks to tell Congress of his decision.
“In recent years, Vladimir Putin has steadily escalated his campaign to consolidate power and undermine the United States,” Royce said in the letter. “Your compliance with the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 is critical to showing Putin that we are serious about challenging his deadly acts, as well as his ongoing attacks on our democracy.”
The White House National Security Council declined to comment, saying it does not discuss correspondence between the president and Congress.