Congressional split makes Russian sanctions difficult

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Despite President Joe Biden’s threats of massive sanctions against Russia, the United States legislative branch has struggled to solidify just what those sanctions will be.

As reported by NBC, the Senate has missed its window to approve a bipartisan plan on how to sanction Russia should it invade Ukraine in the coming days.

NBC quoted a pair of senators, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), both of whom admitted the speed at which the U.S. Senate currently moves, means no plan will likely be finalized quickly. Congress still remains in a standstill on the legislation even after White House officials showed ranking senators classified information that indicated Russia had the capacity to invade Ukraine with little notice.

At present, senators are working to create a nonbinding resolution that would serve only to warn Russia against invasion; however, Democrats and Republicans have both stated they want to create something more concrete.

“The Russians are prepared to invade,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told NBC. “It can happen in a matter of days if that’s their intent. I think it would be best if we can agree on sanctions.”

The parties are at odds over when sanctions against Russia should begin and what to do about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that connects Russia to Germany.

President Biden threatened last week to “bring to an end” the Nord Stream 2, but there is actually little the United States could do about the pipeline without agreement from Germany.

Despite the lethargic nature of the process, there is every indication that Republicans and Democrats are taking the matter equally seriously.

“The Russians are using their military might to try to redraw the borders of a sovereign country, and they’re using energy as a weapon to try to split NATO,” Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said prior to a Senate Armed Forces confirmation hearing Tuesday. “Putin’s ambitions won’t stop in Ukraine.”