Speed Reads


Top lawmakers unveil bipartisan deal knocking Russia on trade relations, energy imports

Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Monday reached a deal on legislation punishing Russia for its attack on Ukraine, as Congress looks to ban imports of Russian oil, The Washington Post reports.

The new bipartisan agreement "would limit Russian energy imports, suspend normal trade relations between the U.S. and the Kremlin, and task the Biden administration to seek Russia's suspension from the World Trade Organization," writes the Post. The trade penalties would also extend to Belarus.

"As Russia continues its unprovoked attack on the Ukrainian people, we have agreed on a legislative path forward to ban the import of energy products from Russia and to suspend normal trade relations with both Russia and Belarus," wrote Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) in a statement. Neal and Brady are the top lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee, while Wyden and Crapo oversee the Senate Finance Committee. The four unveiled the plan together after reaching a deal.

The House and Senate, however, would still need to approve any such agreement.

Meanwhile, the Post notes, other Democrats and Republicans "forged ahead" with a package that "might deliver on President Biden's request for $10 billion in Ukrainian aid." Lawmakers are hoping they can include the aid provision in a larger package necessary to fund the government, given the current spending agreement will expire Friday.