Cantor Wants to Punish Putin

The House majority leader says he’s asked committees to look at additional penalties against Russia.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting in his Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow on March 5, 2014.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
March 18, 2014, 2:41 p.m.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is warn­ing that it could take ad­di­tion­al steps against Rus­sia, and it looks like it will have an un­usu­al ally: House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor.

The Vir­gin­ia Re­pub­lic­an, a fre­quent crit­ic of the pres­id­ent, said Tues­day that he’s asked com­mit­tees to “ex­am­ine ad­di­tion­al steps that can be taken to im­pose great­er costs on Rus­sia.”

Can­tor’s com­ment fol­lows heightened ten­sions between the two coun­tries, as Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin, ig­nor­ing dir­ect warn­ings from U.S. and EU of­fi­cials, signed a treaty to make Crimea part of Rus­sia.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced sanc­tions against sev­en Rus­si­an of­fi­cials Monday, a move Can­tor said that he backs. But he ad­ded that the “list must be dra­mat­ic­ally ex­pan­ded to ex­ert real pres­sure.”

And White House spokes­man Jay Car­ney warned Tues­day that more steps could be com­ing.

“You have seen some des­ig­na­tions already, and there are more to come,” Car­ney said. “I wouldn’t, if I were you, in­vest in Rus­si­an equit­ies right now un­less you were go­ing short.”

Can­tor didn’t spe­cify what ac­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers could take, but he said Rus­sia’s mem­ber­ship in the G-8 should be re­voked, the United States should con­sider provid­ing mil­it­ary sup­port to the Ukraine, and the U.S. should work with NATO to “re­as­sure oth­er coun­tries threatened by Rus­sia.”

The House passed a res­ol­u­tion last week con­demning Rus­sia for its in­cur­sion in­to Crimea and back­ing a push to send in­ter­na­tion­al mon­it­ors to the re­gion. It also backed giv­ing $1 bil­lion in loan guar­an­tees to Ukraine, but the Sen­ate is push­ing to in­clude In­ter­na­tion­al Mon­et­ary Fund re­forms — which House Re­pub­lic­ans have balked at.

Can­tor also pressed for a boost in nat­ur­al-gas ex­ports to Ukraine. Re­pub­lic­ans in both cham­bers have ar­gued that this could help lessen that coun­try’s de­pend­ence on Rus­sia.

And though Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry last week de­fen­ded the “re­set” of the U.S.-Rus­si­an re­la­tion­ship un­der the pres­id­ent, Can­tor said that a re­as­sess­ment of “our en­tire strategy” is needed, adding that he looks “for­ward to work­ing with Pres­id­ent Obama and his ad­min­is­tra­tion to con­front the brazen chal­lenge to in­ter­na­tion­al se­cur­ity posed by Pres­id­ent Putin’s ag­gres­sion.”

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Source:
PEAK CONFIDENCE
Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”

Source:
CITIZENS UNITED PT. 2?
Movie Based on ‘Clinton Cash’ to Debut at Cannes
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."

Source:
×