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Senate rejects Democratic efforts to prevent sanctions relief for Russian oligarch

Trump lashes out over Russia reports

The Senate narrowly rejected Democratic-led efforts to block the Trump administration from lifting sanctions on Russian companies controlled by oligarch Oleg Deripaska on Wednesday. The procedural vote to move forward on the resolution failed 57-42, just three votes short of the 60 needed to proceed.

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.

Cotton in particular is considered to be a conservative hawk. Collins and Gardner are more moderate members of the Senate GOP conference.

All Democrats present voted to advance the bill. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., did not vote.

The same eleven GOP senators voted alongside all Democrats present to proceed to the resolution on Tuesday, allowing debate on the measure could begin.  

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 called on senators to consider that Deripaska is an "agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin's interests abroad" and is tied to "organized crime and Mr. Paul Manafort," a subject of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

However, 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