The House on Wednesday gave voice vote approval to a bill to impose sanctions against Venezuelan government officials responsible for human rights abuses against protestors. 

At least 42 people have died and more than 100 have been injured in the demonstrations across Venezuela. Protests began in Venezuela earlier this year largely in opposition to President Nicolás Maduro's handling of crime and the economy, including price controls that have led to inflation. 

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International concern about human rights in Venezuela emerged after a judge issued an arrest warrant against opposition leader Leopoldo López, who later turned himself in to authorities and is now being held in a military prison. 

Members of both U.S. political parties said the measure would provide support to pro-democracy protestors.

"We are today to condemn the ongoing human rights abuses being committed in Venezuela, and to answer the cries of the people of Venezuela," said bill sponsor Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenBottom line Bottom line Democrats elect Meeks as first Black Foreign Affairs chairman MORE (R-Fla.).

The sanctions would include freezing Venezuelan government officials' assets and preventing them entry to the U.S.

Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroDemocrats ask Biden to reverse employee policy on past marijuana use The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes Blinken to appear before Foreign Affairs Committee MORE (D-Texas) said the measure would boost the U.S. position while Venezuela works to reach a solution on its own.

"I continue to believe the dialogue is the best way out of the crisis. In the meantime, the legislation we are considering today makes it clear the United States will not turn a blind eye to human rights violations," Castro said.

But Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksIran talks set up delicate dance for Biden team House panel advances bill to repeal 2002 war authorization Bipartisan House bill would repeal decades-old war authorizations MORE said the legislation would cause the U.S. to overstep its role in global affairs. The New York Democrat noted that the Obama administration already has the authority to impose sanctions.

"I remain committed to doing everything in my power to support a positive outcome in that nation. But I believe vehemently that unilateral action by the United States is not the answer," Meeks said.

In addition to sanctions, the measure would authorize $5 million to be spent on behalf of assistance to Venezuelan civilians.

The sanctions and appropriations would expire two years after the legislation's enactment. But the president would be able to waive the sanctions at any time.