A top U.S. Senate Republican says he will join with Democrats in pushing for "comprehensive" sanctions on Russia because of its alleged attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on January 9 that he would join Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Robert Menendez in introducing the legislation.
The senators did not say what "comprehensive" means, but they said the legislation would go beyond the sanctions on Russian diplomats and intelligence agencies announced last week by the White House.
McCain, who has called Russia's alleged hacking of the election "an unprecedented attack on our democracy,” last month visited Estonia, Georgia, and Ukraine with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar. They vowed to uphold and strengthen the sanctions on Russia.
Graham said afterward that he and McCain would "introduce sanctions that...will hit them in the financial sector and the energy sector, where they're the weakest."
Cardin, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and other Democrats in Congress are also pushing for creation of an independent commission to investigate what U.S. intelligence agencies say was Russia's hacking of Democratic institutions and leaders during the presidential contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
However, no Republicans have endorsed that proposal. Republicans currently control both houses of Congress.