Senate Republicans urged Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE to pressure Europe to cut off Russian banks the U.S. has sanctioned.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) led a group of eight senators in writing to Lew on Thursday. The senators said the United States and European Union should economically punish Russia for its aggressions against Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.


“Boosting economic pressure on Russian banks would put an effective and immediate squeeze on Russia’s economy,” said Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsCNN's Jake Tapper repeatedly presses Pence on whether he thinks climate change is a threat Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger House Intel to take first major deep dive into threat of 'deepfakes' MORE (R-Ind.), who cosigned the letter. “Together, the United States and the European Union must act decisively to demonstrate that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is unacceptable.”

Their letter came a week after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked Congress to increase economic sanctions on Russia and provide lethal military aid. After his speech, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that urged the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to exclude Russia from the system.

“We urge you to impress upon your E.U. counterparts that even limited action by SWIFT would serve as an effective policy tool to advance U.S. and E.U. common goals to counter Russia’s unacceptable occupation and destabilization of Ukraine and to prevent further threats to European stability,” the senators wrote.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), David Vitter (R-La.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) also signed the letter.

— This article was updated at 3:20 p.m.