Senate hits Russia on adoption ban

The Senate in the early hours of Jan. 1 passed a resolution expressing disappointment in Russia's new ban on the adoption of Russian children by American families.

Russia's ban takes effect today, and is seen as a reaction to congressional passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act. That act calls for new sanctions against Russian officials involved in the 2009 death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was probing fraud in the Russian government.

The Magnitsky language was part of legislation granting Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status, which President Obama signed into law on Dec. 14.

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The Senate resolution, from Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), expresses the "deep disappointment" in the adoption ban, and encourages Russia to reconsider the law.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the adoption ban into law last Friday.

The resolution was one of a handful of bills the Senate cleared early Tuesday morning. Others were:

H.R. 6586 — extending a limitation on liability against commercial space launch companies.

H.R. 6060 — the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act, extending the authority of the secretary of the Interior to use certain revenues to fund endangered fish recovery programs in the west.

S. 302 — authorizing the secretary of the Interior to issue right-of-way permits for a natural-gas pipeline within the Denali National Park.