Foreign Policy

Corker to Obama: ‘Take action now’ on more sanctions

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called on President Obama to impose more sanctions on Russian companies to deter Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Corker sent Obama a letter over the weekend, ahead of a European Union meeting on Russian sanctions Monday.


Coats’ bill stops US recognition of Russian claims on Crimea

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) introduced a bill Wednesday that would ensure the United States doesn’t recognize Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea and its resources.

“The American response must be much greater than a verbal slap if we want Putin to understand his actions in Ukraine are unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Coats said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “Congress must refuse to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.”


Senate clears treaties to combat ‘pirate fishing’

The Senate approved four treaties Thursday aimed at stopping “pirate fishing.”

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) called for swift passage of the treaties and got unanimous consent to do so.


Cruz bill would stop Iranian ‘terrorist’ from entering US

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Tuesday that Iran has nominated an “acknowledged terrorist,” who held the U.S. embassy hostage, to be its next United Nations ambassador.

“It is deliberately insulting and contemptuous,” Cruz said after introducing a bill that would prevent the ambassador from entering the United States.


Senate passes bill to fund Ukraine broadcasting

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would spend money on pro-democracy broadcasting practices in Ukraine.

Earlier Thursday, the House and Senate passed different Ukraine aid packages. One of the differences was that the House bill included a section that would spend $10 million on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America programming to Ukraine and neighboring countries — language that wasn’t in the Senate bill.


Leahy to Obama: Destroy US stockpile of land mines

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called on President Obama Thursday to destroy the U.S. stockpile of land mines and sign the Mine Ban Treaty as part of his presidential legacy. 

“Destroy our stock pile of mines. We’re never going to use them,” Leahy said on the Senate floor. “President Obama is the only one who can make that happen. Time is running out.”