GOP and Democratic Senators Find Common Ground on New Russian Sanctions Bill

| JAN 11, 2017 | 4:29 PM
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at

Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images

As revelations of Russia cyberterrorism and efforts to undermine the American political process swell, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to place further sanctions on the Russian government Wednesday.

Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Ben Cardin (D-MD) put forth the Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017, which aims to combat Russian-conducted cyber intrusions, aggressive acts and corruption.

McCain said in a statement that “For eight years, the United States has had no policy to deter, respond to, or retaliate against cyberattacks," adding:

"As a nation, we must demonstrate that if you attack our country, you will pay a price ... Now is the time to put partisanship aside and send a signal that the United States will not stand for Russia’s aggressive actions.”

Cardin said Russia has “shown a clear disregard for sovereignty and humanitarian norms."

The Maryland Democrat added that their sanctions bill would send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin "that there will be consequences for his actions.”

The legislation includes bans on visas as well as asset freezes for Russian officials “who undermine the cybersecurity of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions.”

In addition, the bill would bulk up the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to educate the public on defending oneself against cyberterrorism threats.

The bill is just the latest move by the federal government that is aimed at reprimanding Russia. In December 2016, the Obama administration implemented sanctions which included the ousting of more than 30 Russian diplomats living in the United States.

Read the McCain-Cardin bill in its entirety here.

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