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 MassieThis week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive This week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive House conservative's procedural protest met with bipartisan gripes 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 EngelEngel draws primary challenger in NY Engel draws primary challenger in NY Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland 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 ConnollyThe Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments MORE (D-Va.) and Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotBipartisan House bill seeks to punish Burma for genocide Bipartisan House bill seeks to punish Burma for genocide 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill 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: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major 'Medicare for All' hearing Overnight Health Care: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major 'Medicare for All' hearing House panel launches investigation into Juul MORE (D-Ill.) and Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartHouse Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill 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 TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE took office.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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.