The Texas congressional delegation did something somewhat unexpected this week.
It voted unanimously for a bill that would restrain the powers of President Donald Trump when it comes to Russia.
The legislation would impose tougher sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, but with respect to the Russian Federation it would require Congress to sign off on any move by the president to relieve those sanctions.
Supporting such a bill may seem self-evident given allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Never miss a local story.
But it’s quite remarkable for a Republican Congress — including all of its members from Texas — to seek to tie the hands of a president of the same party.
Good for them.
Congresswoman Kay Granger urged the Senate “to take up and pass this important legislation quickly so that the president can sign it into law.”
The bill already has hit several snags in the Senate (related to North Korea), and the White House has been reluctant to say whether Trump would sign it.
But we are encouraged to see our congressmen and women standing up to Russia and to the president.
They aren’t the only ones.
Former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison testified last week that if she is confirmed as the new ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, she, too, will be tough on Russia.
We believe her. With two decades of service in the Senate — where she was always one of only a handful of women — Hutchison has more than proved her mettle.
During her nomination hearing, she expressed support for congressional sanctions on Russia and stated her belief that Russia was probably guilty of interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
She was received with high praise, even from U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine — Hillary Clinton’s running mate last November. “Your nomination sends a signal the NATO relationship is an important one,” he said.
He’s right. Hutchison would be a fierce advocate for the U.S. among our allies but also a strong voice for the organization, which has come under attack by Trump on more than one occasion.
The Senate should confirm her quickly.