House Speaker Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday to pass a "strong, bold" Russia sanctions bill, referring to himself as "a Russia hawk," per the AP.
Context: A sanctions bill passed the Senate by a 97-2 vote, but Democrats are accusing House Republicans of stalling, per Reuters. Ryan said a procedural issue is causing the holdup.
Why it matters: Axios' Jonathan Swan reports that the White House is racing to stop Congress from sending the bill to Trump's desk. Legislative Director Marc Short says the bill "greatly hampers the executive branch's diplomatic efforts," and CIA Director Mike Pompeo told Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy the bill would affect his "ability to do his work and his job, a few elements of it."
The Dem stance: Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said delays make it look as though House leaders are "in protective mode" for the White House.