The measure passed from 57 to 42, with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat in New York, missing the vote when she announced her first move to launch a campaign for the party 2020 presidential election.
The measure is facing another Senate vote – this requires 60 votes – as soon as Wednesday.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader who introduced the decision, foreshadowed the way his party intended to hit the fight if it did not go its way. 19659002] "We are only a few Republican voices short of the US Senate telling Putin that he cannot run the show, whatever President Trump and his administration are trying to do," said Mr Schumer. "If Republican senators agree with Leader McConnell who said Putin is a" thug "- they will vote yes tomorrow."
. Daines said the maintenance of the sanctions would help "keep the pressure on the Kremlin for their aggressive actions against Eastern Europe, the Middle East and around the world."
The vote was a particularly stinging defeat for Mr Mnuchin, who for the second time in less than a week tried to defend the decision to ease the sanctions to legislators on Capitol Hill.
After being criticized by House Democrats last week to waste their time in a classified briefing on the sanctions they offered for some information, Mr Mnuchin told Republican senators on Tuesday that maintaining the department's decision should not be political and that it was important to maintain the integrity of the sanctions regime.
But the sales force was not enough to keep the Republicans together.