House passes series of measures hitting Russia, Putin

House passes series of measures hitting Russia, Putin
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The House passed a series of bills on Tuesday meant to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for his country's actions, including a measure condemning the Russian leader and his government for their alleged roles in covering up the 2015 assassination of Putin political opponent Boris Nemtsov.

The package of legislation, all aimed at adding scrutiny on the Russian government, largely passed by voice vote.

The bill concerning Nemtsov's assassination overwhelmingly passed the House, with only one lawmaker — Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieScalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms Airports already have plenty of infrastructure funding Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border MORE (R-Ky.) — dissenting.

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“It's been four years since his death, but there's been no proper investigation of his assassination and the cover-up and zero accountability for those responsible — that's certainly an outrage," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse chairman reaches deal on classified briefing with Trump's Afghanistan negotiator Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine House chairman subpoenas Trump's Afghanistan negotiator MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech ahead of the vote. "This resolution condemns the Kremlin's systematic targeting of its political opponents and calls on the administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for Nemtsov's murder and cover-up.”

Nemtsov, a member of the opposition party who had eyed challenging Putin for the presidency in 2018, was shot and killed in 2015.

Five Chechen men have been charged in his death, but Tuesday’s resolution — introduced by Engel and Foreign Affairs ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) — claims that Russian officials have prevented others responsible for his murder to be charged.

A bill condemning the Russian annexation of Crimea also easily passed the House, with 427 lawmakers supporting the act. Again only Massie voted against it.

Under the legislation, led by Reps. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHistory in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (D-Va.) and Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotJudiciary approves new investigative powers with eyes on impeachment Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback MORE (R-Ohio), federal departments and agencies are barred from recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea, which sparked international outrage in 2014.

The House also passed legislation sponsored by Reps. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul Congressional Democrats threaten to subpoena Juul in teen vaping investigation The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? MORE (D-Ill.) and Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartMoulton, Stewart pen op-ed backing three-digit suicide prevention hotline FCC proposes new 3-digit suicide prevention hotline number GOP lawmaker's town hall erupts in shouting over mass shootings, Trump MORE (R-Utah) that would instruct the director of National Intelligence to submit three comprehensive assessments on the “political leadership of the Russian Federation” to provide information on potential action against NATO members, potential responses to the expanded role of the U.S. and NATO countries in eastern Europe and potential areas of weakness the Russian government could attempt to capitalize on.

The Trump White House has faced calls from Congress to take more action against Russia, particularly after the nation was determined to have interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Some critics have argued that the president is not as tough on Russia as he should be, but the administration has implemented strict sanctions against Russia and some of its oligarchs since President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE took office.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE has also indicted 12 Russian military officers for the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee, as well as charging several Russian entities with interfering in the 2016 election.