UPDATED 12:00 PM PT – Saturday, April 9, 2022
Congress voted to strip Russia and its ally Belarus of “most favored nation” trade status. House lawmakers passed the measure in a 420-to-three vote Thursday with a bill banning Russian energy imports passing 413-to-nine, just hours after both were unanimously approved by the Senate. Revoking permanent normal trade relations status raises tariffs on imports from the Eastern European nations.
The three members of Congress who opposed the first measure were all Republicans, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Fla.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). Greene took to Twitter to explain the logic behind her vote. First and foremost, the freshman representative asserted the bill give unnecessarily broad power to the executive branch to punish countries as it sees fit.
“You see this bill that Congress just passed gives President Biden to be able to put sanctions on any country, not just Russia, but any country for what he deems to be human rights abuses and that can be any explanation, anything that he decides,” she stated. “It gives too much broad power to the President of the United States when our current president, Joe Biden, is not making good decision on behalf of America and we can’t trust his authority in this situation.”
Greene also expressed her fears the measure would worsen already rampant inflation in the U.S. economy. Russia is a global exporter of agricultural products such as fertilizer and grain. The Georgia Republican claimed imposing more sanctions intended to dissuade further Russian aggression will only hurt the American people.
Greene also outlined the reasons behind her vote against the ban on Russian oil imports. She explained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a finite resource and without a permanent substitute for Russian energy, prices are destined to shoot back up to record highs.
The Democrats and the media are already attacking me for my NO votes today. They always twist my words and lie about me. So here is why I voted NO.. pic.twitter.com/2NRSQ321C6
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) April 7, 2022
The congresswoman questioned the validity of sanctions as a diplomatic tool. She pointed out they failed to prevent the Ukraine crisis and will have far reaching foreign policy ramifications for the United States.