UPDATE: Corker is now said to be fine with the House sanctions bill. From Matt Flegenheimer, "Key Senator Drops Objection, Clearing Way for Russia Sanctions":
“We expressed concerns about it,” Mr. Corker said of the addition of North Korea to the House plan, citing a desire for greater Senate input before placing new sanctions on the reclusive country. “They decided to add it. I don’t take affront.”
Hours later, Mr. Corker said the Senate would move to approve the House version after all, but demanded that House leaders “expeditiously consider and pass enhancements to the North Korea language, which multiple members of the Senate hope to make in the very near future.”
Some hurdles remain. Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said it was not yet clear if the Senate would approve and send the bill to President Trump’s desk before lawmakers leave for the August recess.
There is a spat between Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy over the inclusion of North Korea in the House sanctions bill that appears to be holding the legislation up.
Assuming the sanctions bill eventually finds its way to Trump's desk, it is noteworthy that not one Democrat in the House voted "No." All three nays were from Republicans, which means all my donations and phone-banking for the "peace" candidate, who ended being elected to represent my congressional district, were for naught. Ambition trumps principle once again.
The sanctions bill codifies the New Cold War begun by the Obama administration in 2014. The silver lining is that the Democrats, so completely bellicose and Russophobic, will continue their accelerated collapse. Even The New York Times greeted their "Better Deal" reboot with derision. How can you front with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and expect otherwise?
The other silver lining is that Europe can no longer run away from the Trump bogeyman with the expectation that Obama's Second Coming is right around the bend. No, this is deeply-rooted institutional madness that is not going anywhere until something crashes or blows up.
The sanctions bill also moves the U.S. in a direction to undo the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by targeting Iran's ballistic missile program. Iran's ballistic missile program was a sticking point during JCPOA negotiations, and it was purposely fudged by John Kerry so as not to kill the deal. (To get a look at the Israeli wish-list for U.S. policy toward Iran, read "Strategy to Restore U.S. Leverage Against Iran," by Eric Edelman and Charles Wald. It's basically war.)
The silver lining here is that the U.S. will be alone, except for the usual accomplices, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, maybe Poland. The sanctions bill has put the world on notice that it's not only Trump who is the problem.It is the entire U.S. government.