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Breaking with Trump, some Republicans vote to take up Russia sanctions resolution

U.S. slaps more sanctions on Russia

Washington — In a rare split with the Trump administration, nearly a dozen Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues to vote in favor of allowing debate on a resolution that would prohibit the Treasury Department from lifting sanctions against companies with ties to Russian tycoon and Kremlin ally Oleg Deripaska.

During a Tuesday evening session squeezed in between the confirmation hearing for William Barr, President Trump's Attorney General nominee, eleven GOP senators voted alongside all Democrats present to proceed with the resolution, which was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York.  

The Republicans who voted with Democrats were John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas; Susan Collins of Maine; Cory Gardner of Colorado; Steve Daines of Montana; Josh Hawley of Missouri; John Kennedy of Louisiana; Martha McSally of Arizona; Marco Rubio of Florida; Jerry Moran of Kansas; and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

The bipartisan approval came after a motion to table the resolution failed.

Schumer introduced the resolution after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin unveiled a measure in December to lift penalties against three firms connected to Deripaska, an aluminum magnate. On Monday, Schumer called Mnuchin's decision "deeply flawed and wrong" and said it enabled Deripaska, whom the New York Democrat labeled an "agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin's interests abroad." 

European governments and American manufacturers have urged the Senate not to reimpose the sanctions, which have reportedly caused the price of aluminum to rise.  

Mnuchin had lobbied GOP senators to vote against Schumer's resolution.

John Nolen contributed to this report.