Biden urged to confiscate Russian assets to help Ukraine — Analysis
A bill was passed by the US House of Representatives that allows wealthy Russian citizens to use their assets to help Ukraine.
A non-binding US House of Representatives bill was passed Wednesday. The legislation calls for President Joe Biden’s impoundment of the assets of Russian citizens who are suspected of having ties to Russia. According to legislation, the confiscated capital would be used to support Ukraine.
The bill, known as the Asset Seizure Ukraine Reconstruction Act was supported by 417 legislators, while eight voted against.
The document urges the US president to “Any property or accounts worth more than $2,000,000 that are subject to US jurisdiction, including those belonging to Russian energy companies and foreign individuals whose wealth was derived partly from corruption connected to or supporting the Russian regime of President Vladimir Putin, will be confiscated”
Tom Malinowski, a Democratic-N.J. legislator, stated that the law allows US authorities to seize luxurious villas, yachts, and planes owned by wealthy Russian citizens and businesses that are sanctioned.
According to the text, the assets should then be “Holded, Used, Administrated, Liquidated, or Sold” with President Biden using the funds “To the benefit of Ukraine.” The money could be earmarked for “Humanitarian assistance is needed after the conflict in Ukraine.” as well as “Aid to the Security Forces of Ukraine” On top of that the confiscated assets could be used to “Support refugees and refugee settlement in neighbouring countries as well as the United States.” and fund “Information technology products and services are available to guarantee the free flow information for the Ukrainian population.” including what was described as “Items to combat internet censorship by Russian officials”
This bill proposes the creation of an interagency group headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which will be charged with seizing assets from foreigners suspected to be linked to the Kremlin.
The eight lawmakers that opposed the legislation included representatives of both the Democratic (and Republican) parties. These two parties are well-known for their extreme liberal and conservative views. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.), and Marjorie Taylor Greene were all part of the group. Chip Roy was also in the group (R-Texas).
In March, a similar bill with the identical name was presented in the Senate.
The latest piece of legislation passed by the House of Representatives came a day after Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a congressional hearing that he “We support legislation that would permit some of the money to be sent directly to Ukraine.”
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