Washington, D.C.

Stefanik bill aimed at Russian president passes

Would instruct intelligence agencies to outline Vladimir Putin's wealth
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is given a tour of Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa, October 25, 2018.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is given a tour of Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa, October 25, 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the Vladimir Putin Transparency Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville.

The legislation, if it becomes law, will instruct U.S. intelligence agencies in coordination with the U.S. departments of State and Treasury to collect information and submit a report to Congress on the financial assets and connections of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies.

Putin’s alleged efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in support of President Donald Trump are at the center of law enforcement and Congressional investigations — and Stefanik cited those interference efforts on the House floor in her support for the bill.

“Vladimir Putin and his corrupt allies seek to weaken democracies globally by consolidating political control through unethical means, and they must be brought to account for their actions,” Stefanik said. “I am thrilled that this important, bipartisan legislation was swiftly brought to the floor and passed, and I thank my colleagues for supporting my efforts. This legislation is an important step to ensuring the security of our elections and upholding democracy around the world.”

The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Val Deming, D-Florida. Stefanik and Deming are both members of the House Intelligence Committee. It was passed by a voice vote. It has yet to be taken up by the Senate, and it is not clear whether Trump would sign it.

Russian officials reacted dismissively when the bill was introduced late last month, according to an ABC News report.

“It can hardly be taken seriously. Most likely it’s just some more Russophobic fuss. We’ve long learned to take that with irony,” Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters, according to Russia’s TASS news agency and ABC.

 

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