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Eye On Boise

Crapo introduces stepped-up sanctions bill against Russia, says both parties want strong U.S. response

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, joining with a bipartsan group of senators, is proposing a Russia sanctions bill that expands and strengthens sanctions on the Russian Federation. “Many of us, on both sides of the aisle, feel that the United States needs to be much stronger in its response,” Crapo declared.

The measure, the result of an agreement between Crapo, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee; Banking Committee ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and ranking committee member Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, would escalate and expand current sanctions against Russia, in response to Russia’s “violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea,” its “brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections,” and its “continuing aggression in Syria.”

The bill also would require Congress to vote before any sanctions on Russia are lifted, and it would expand tracking of illicit finances linked to Russia.

Crapo, in his floor statement introducing the bill, said, “Over the course of the past three months, the Senate Banking Committee has held hearings assessing the impacts of the current sanctions regime against Russia. We examined the existing Russian sanctions architecture in terms of its effectiveness and economic impact. In Putin’s calculus, the costs of the sanctions do not outweigh the benefits of occupying Crimea and contributing to unrest in Ukraine, continuing to support the Assad regime’s assault on civilians in Syria, and conducting cyber-attacks on people, companies, and institutions. Many of us, on both sides of the aisle, feel that the United States needs to be much stronger in its response. Americans want to see the United States stand firm in defense of our long-held values, which include respect for territorial integrity, human rights, and liberty . . . The Crapo-Brown-Corker-Cardin amendment is an effective way to increase the pressure on Russia for its irresponsible conduct.” 

You can read Crapo’s full floor statement here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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