The passage of the legislation in the House follows an order signed by President Joe Biden earlier this week that implements a similar measure through the executive branch.
“While the most immediate need is for additional military equipment, we can respond tonight by taking another step to isolate Russia from the world economy,” said Doggett on the House floor when he introduced the bill for debate.
“It may cost more to fill your tank, but we must work to stop Putin’s tanks from crushing families and freedom.”
In addition to banning energy imports from Russia, the legislation from Doggett also urges the suspension of Russia from the World Trade Organization and amends the Global Magnitsky Act to broaden the president’s authority to sanction those supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While the measure was approved in the House, it still has to be approved by the U.S. Senate before it can be sent to the president’s desk to be signed.
Earlier before the floor debate, Doggett was critical of “some people who continue to have their own ideological agenda to defend and deny the climate science and promote more and more fossil fuels.”
Doggett criticized pushes to complete the Keystone Pipeline project, saying that doing so would “not save one Ukrainian life, nor will the adoption of the rest of their agenda.”
“I have only one agenda in this matter,” said Doggett, “and that is to respond to the aggression and do all we can to try to stop the brutal attacks unprovoked on the Ukrainian people.”
Despite the broad bipartisan support for the bill, one of the primary criticisms of the legislation that came from Republicans is cutting off a source of oil without bolstering energy production in the United States.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), one of the two Texas members to vote against the bill along with Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), released a statement critical of the legislation.
“There is no way I could vote to exchange getting oil from Putin for getting oil from some other tyrant or country that wants to destroy America, which makes this a cynical political ploy,” said Gohmert.
“Until Democrats allow a vote that will help make America energy independent again, those of us who care about Americans on fixed income and Americans who are being bankrupted by Democrats war on cheap energy must vote [against the bill].”
Other Republicans who voted in favor of the legislation were critical of it for not going far enough to push back against Russia.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-08) announced that he had filed new legislation that would take further steps against Russia.
“While I’m pleased that House Democrats agree on the moral choice to stand with the people of Ukraine, their bill, after it was weakened at the request of the President, is not as strong as the energy ban Congress originally crafted, nor or does it include crucial Republican-led measures to revoke favorable trade relations with both Russia and Belarus, which would have targeted all the products America buys from Russia,” said Brady.
The legislation introduced by Brady would revoke the current trade statuses of Russia and Belarus, which would affect all imports from the two nations rather than only energy-related products.
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Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.