Updated Mar 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House votes to sanction Russia, ban energy imports over Ukraine invasion

A Ukrainian flag is readied to be unfurled from the roof of the Glover Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., on March 9, in front of the Russian Embassy. Photo: by Stefani Reynold/AFP

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to sanction Russia for invading Ukraine.

Driving the news: The vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan, passing 414-17, and marks the first time since Russia began amassing troops on the Ukrainian border that either chamber of Congress has moved on a sanctions package.

  • The vote bodes well for the bill's chances in the Senate, where it needs some GOP support to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold.

The details: The bill includes a ban on Russian energy imports and allows the Biden administration to sanction Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses.

  • It also directs the U.S. trade representative to "use the voice and influence" of the U.S. to push for Russia to be suspended from the World Trade Organization.

The backdrop: Lawmakers in both parties were left grumbling when the White House intervened to gut key provisions of the bill.

  • The original bipartisan deal, struck by committee leaders in both chambers, would have empowered the U.S. to raise tariffs on imports from Russia and Belarus.
  • The White House also undercut the bill's embargo of Russian oil products by making that move themselves on Tuesday.
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