Bipartisan bill to suspend 'normal trade relations' with Russia coming: Top Republican

"All of those revenues go to finance this war indirectly and sometimes directly. We shouldn't be a party to that," says Rep. Brady

Updated: March 10, 2022 - 1:04pm

Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Thursday that bipartisan legislation to suspend normal trade relations with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine will soon move forward in the lower chamber.

Brady, of Texas, told Just the News that negotiators are drafting the contents of the legislation with House Democratic leadership at the table.

Brady said President Biden initially fought "tooth and nail" throughout last weekend into Monday against banning Russian oil imports but eventually realized such a ban had broad bipartisan support in Congress, which resulted in him having to change course.

"He realized Republicans and Democrats in Congress had come together on agreement to do two key things: an immediate ban on purchases of Russian energy, but also suspending the special trade provisions we have with Russia because that would have targeted the other half of what Russia sells into America," Brady said during the interview with Just the News.

"The president did accept the Russian ban on oil and gas and to some degree, coal," Brady also said. "But he insisted on taking out really the economic sanctions on the rest of Russia's products. I think it was a weaker approach than what should have been done."

Brady said he had a discussion with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, about going beyond the Russian oil import ban and suspending normal trade relations with Russia.

"Chairman Richard Neal, who leads the Ways and Means Committee, I and Speaker Pelosi had a discussion last night on the House floor," Brady said. "We believe we have overwhelming support for ending what we call suspending normal trade relations with Russia, and targeting what they're selling into the U.S.

"And so, I expect, right now we're going to work toward an agreement on a bill to bring to the House floor for next week. ... You can't leave half of what they sell, Russia sells us. And we don't really, frankly, know why are we buying Russian diamonds and vodka? You know, all of those revenues go to finance this war indirectly and sometimes directly. We shouldn't be a party to that."

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