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Rep. Thomas Massie among eight Congress members who voted against Russian sanctions bill

If the bill is passed, it will open the door for massive tariff increases of Russian goods and key commodities like aluminum and mineral fuels.

Rep. Thomas Massie among eight Congress members who voted against Russian sanctions bill
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
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Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was among eight members of Congress who voted against the Russian sanctions bill, which aims to strip Russia and Belarus of permanent normalized trade status with the United States.

If the bill is passed, it will open the door for massive tariff increases of Russian goods and key commodities like aluminum and mineral fuels.

The bill was fast-tracked through Congress after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on members of Congress to aid Ukraine in the conflict against Russia. While the U.S. government is unwilling to impose a no-fly zone, which would bring the American military into direct conflict with Russian forces, the removal of normalized trade status imposes a severe financial penalty on Russia.

Massie and the other representatives, which includes Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Joe Biggs, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Dan Bishop, Chip Roy, and Glenn Grothman, have been accused of promoting Russia’s interests due to their refusal to support the bill.

On Thursday, Massie fired back at his detractors, explaining that a provision slipped into the Russian sanctions bill provided the president “broad authority to sanction virtually anyone, anywhere in the world, whether they are connected to Russia or not.”

Massie provided screenshots of pages 19, 20, and 21 which includes the provision allowing the president to do exactly that. It reads as follows:

(c) IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS. –

(1) In General.-- Subsection (a) of section 1263 of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Subtitle F of the title XII of Public Law 114-328; 22 U.S.C. 2656 note) is amended to read as follows:

(a) IN GENERAL. – The President may impose the sanctions described in subsection

(b) with respect to any foreign person that the President determines, based on credible information–

“(1) is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse;

“(2) is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in–

“(A) corruption, including–

“(i) the misappropriation of state sets;

“(ii) the expropriation of private assets for personal gain;

“(iii) corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources; or

(iv) bribery; or

“(B) the transfer of facilitation of the transfer of proceeds of corruption;

(3) is or has been a leader or official of–

(A) an entity, including a government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, any of the activities described in paragraph (1) or (2) during the tenure of the leader or official; or

“(B) an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section as the result of activities during the tenure of the leader or official;

“(4) has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of–

“(A) an activity described in paragraph (1) or (2) that is conducted by a foreign person;

“(B) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section; or

“(C) an entity, including a government entity that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, an activity described in paragraph (1) or (2) conducted by a foreign person; or

“(5) is owned or controlled by, or has acted or been purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a person whose property and interest in property are blocked pursuant to this section.”.

(2) CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION.-- Subsection (c)(2) of such section is amended by striking “violations of human rights” and inserting “corruption and human rights abuses.”

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