Ryan: Crack down on Russian oligarchs

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 MORE (R-Wis.) on Sunday urged the Obama administration and Congress to “target” Russian oligarchs allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I think we should consider targeting some of the oligarchs around him that are his enablers, and he is their enablers,” Ryan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Ryan called for limiting the oligarchs' ability to travel internationally and target their overseas assets “that are illicitly gained through this kleptocracy of the Russian economy.”

He proposed expanding domestic energy production and exports to loosen Russia’s influence over Western Europe, which depends on oil and natural gas from the East.

The European Commission estimates that about one-fourth of the oil and gas consumed by Europe comes from Russia.

Ryan said, if the United States permits increased exports of liquid natural gas to Europe, it would “send the signal that we are intent on loosening Russia’s grip on its energy to Europe and that we’re going be a reliable ally.”

He said diminishing Russia’s share of the European energy market would impact Putin directly.

Ryan said the House would act soon on legislation to speed the approval process for liquid natural gas exports.

He also endorsed former Vice President Dick Cheney’s proposal to bolster missile defense programs in Europe, which Putin has strenuously opposed.

“I think we should definitely revisit missile defense. I think if President Obama himself revisited missile defense, that would be a very strong signal,” he said.

He called the administration’s military spending proposal ill-timed.

“The week that Vladimir Putin invades Russia and the president brings a budget to Congress, cutting our military deeply,” he said. “So I just don't think you have that kind of administration that lends itself to good, bipartisan foreign policy.”

Robert Gates, Obama’s former Defense secretary, on Sunday called the military budget cuts, which were mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act, a “serious mistake.”