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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following Biden’s sanctions against Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared parts of eastern Ukraine as independent, Congressman Tom Reed (R- NY) said the U.S. should push it even further to deter Russian aggression.
“As we’re seeing an invasion today, I would ramp up economic sanctions on the country of Russia,” said Reed in a phone interview. “I would ramp up sanctions on the oligarchs who are behind the scenes, I would ramp up sanctions on our banking institutions and I would take those off the table as much as we possibly can.”
President Biden said these sanctions will hit Russia’s largest financial institution’s and their wealthy elite, the hardest. Some Republican members have criticized these sanctions as coming in a little too late. They said the U.S. should’ve issued them earlier. However, Democrats said the steps that Biden is taking is appropriate and it aligns with NATO’s unified plan.
“I think the administration handled this given the Russian intentions, as well as it could have been handled,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D- MA). “They telegraphed in advance the punitive sanctions that would be applied if Russia invaded. It made sense not to enforce those sanctions before Russia invaded. If you do that, then Russia loses their disincentives and figured well we’ve already been sanctioned we might as well move forward.”
The common ground between the two parties here is that Russia is at fault.
“An attack on Ukraine by Russia is an attack on democracy,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D- CA).
“This is when we stop our fighting,” said Rep. Reed. “This is when we stop our fighting as Republican and Democratic members of Congress as well as the administration and say, you know what? We stand united in our resolve to stamp out this type of aggression.”
Members of Congress said if refugees flee Ukraine and it becomes a humanitarian crisis, they are prepared to have around one-billion dollars in funding ready to help them.
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