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Tags: congress | vladimir putin | sanctions | response | lindsey graham | bob menendez

Lawmakers Want Costs on Putin; Sen. Graham: 'Make This Personal'

Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden look at each other in an archway that makes it look like a mirror reflection
Vladimir Putin and President Joe Biden (Peter Klaunzer/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 24 February 2022 03:03 AM EST

U.S. lawmakers are resoundingly denouncing Russian leader Vladimir Putin's "special military operation" to invade Ukraine, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., calling this a "war crime" and "time to make this personal to Putin."

"Our prayers are with #Ukraine," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted. "Imperative that we continue to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons as well as good intelligence. The world needs to condemn Putin's destruction of a neighboring democracy as a war crime."

Graham added in an ensuing tweet for sanctions to hit Putin personally, instead of the Russian people who have been stolen from "blind" by their leader.

"Putin and his cronies should be pursued by international law enforcement agencies for the purpose of seizing their lavish apartments, fine art, yachts, and other material goods purchased through stealing the Russian people blind," Graham wrote. "It's time to make this personal to Putin."

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Bob Menendez, D-N.J., wants even deeper accountability on all Russian government officials in the Kremlin, including expelling them from the international community.

"This unprovoked attack has brought into sharp focus the need to expel the current Kremlin leadership from the international community," Menendez, D-N.J., told The Hill in a statement. "Today must mark a historical shift in how the world views and deals with the despot in Moscow."

Menendez added Putin remains the No. 1 culprit for Russia's aggressions on Ukraine, a former member of Soviet Union that Putin seeks to reconstitute and remake the legacy left from his first period as the country's leader.

"As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am committed to ensuring that the United States upholds our responsibility to exact maximum costs on Putin, the Russian economy, and those who enabled and facilitated this trampling of Ukraine's sovereignty," he added.

Menendez added prayers for Ukrainians "who refuse to let a tyrant use military might to impose his will on Ukraine."

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"#Ukraine is outgunned and outmanned But they are brave & tough fighters and as the world will soon learn they have already inflicted damage on Russian invaders," Rubio tweeted after midnight ET on Thursday morning.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a lengthy statement, Putin must pay a "far heavier price" than his past invasions.

"As he escalates his war against Ukraine, Putin must be made to pay a far heavier price than he paid for his previous invasions of Georgia and Ukraine," McConnell's statement read. "This should begin, but not end, with devastating sanctions against the Kremlin and its enablers. The president should waste no time in using his extensive existing authorities to impose these costs.

"Our NATO and EU allies must likewise take action to impose significant costs on Putin. Germany’s suspension of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a welcome but overdue announcement and must be turned into permanent cancellation."

Over the House, GOP Reps. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, Mike Rogers, R-Ala., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, wrote in a statement, Politico reported:

"We are committed to enacting the strongest possible sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia's ability to make war, punish its barbarity and relegate the Putin regime to the status of an international pariah. We cannot respond like we did in 2008 or 2014. The world must never forget or forgive this heinous act."

House Democrats pointed to crippling Russia's economic power on the global stage, too.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told Politico, the U.S. "must cut off Putin and his cronies from the global economy," and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called on the Biden administration to end "Europe's dependence on Russian oil for good."

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said, ultimately, it is Putin who is responsible for his "epic miscalculation."

"Putin must be made to rue the day he unleashed this unprovoked violence in the heart of Europe," Van Hollen told Politico. "We must ensure that his action is remembered as an epic miscalculation."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

U.S. lawmakers are resoundingly denouncing Russian leader Vladimir Putin's "special military operation" to invade Ukraine, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., calling this a "war crime" and "time to make this personal to Putin."
congress, vladimir putin, sanctions, response, lindsey graham, bob menendez
Thursday, 24 February 2022 03:03 AM
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