Home passes measure encouraging Biden to grab Russian belongings to fund Ukraine support

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The Home handed Wednesday a measure encouraging President Biden to faucet the proceeds from belongings seized from Russian oligarchs to supply support to Ukraine.

The invoice, which was launched within the Home by Reps. Tom Malinowski, New Jersey Democrat, and Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, handed 417-8 and now proceeds to the Senate.

“It’s onerous to think about giving Russia’s wealth again to Putin whereas Ukraine lies in destroy and Ukrainians are burying their lifeless,” Mr. Malinowski stated. “Underneath these extraordinary circumstances, the worldwide neighborhood ought to be ready to make use of Russia’s frozen belongings to rebuild the nation Russia is destroying.”

The measure supplies a “Sense of Congress” that encourages the president to grab property valued at greater than $2 million from Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the U.S. for his or her involvement within the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The measure additional urges the president to fund army and humanitarian help and post-conflict reconstruction in Ukraine.

The invoice additionally directs the president to ascertain an interagency working group led by the State Division to “decide the constitutional mechanism by way of which the president can take steps to grab and confiscate” the belongings in query and to supply a report back to Congress inside 60 days of the steps taken by the working group.

Regardless of the bipartisan help for the measure in Congress, the preliminary drafts of the invoice obtained early pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union, which stated the asset seizures may violate the Structure’s due-process protections.

Lawmakers later walked again the unique model, which gave the president extra powers, and settled as a substitute on a “Sense of Congress” decision.

Lawmakers additionally added extra guardrails to the ultimate invoice together with the interagency working group to assessment the constitutionality of the proposed seizures.

Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have joined Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Roger F. Wicker of Mississippi to introduce an identical measure within the Senate.

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