(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06) released the following statement regarding his vote on H.R. 7108, the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act.
“For the second time in two weeks, a power-grabbing amendment to the Global Magnitsky Act was added to legislation regarding our economic relations with Russia,” said Congressman Grothman. “In its current form, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act provides the executive branch with power to sanction foreign officials or governments implicated in specific human rights abuses, such as kidnapping, extrajudicial killings, or holding people without trial.
“Within the bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia, House leadership included provisions that would significantly change the purpose of the Magnitsky Act by removing definitions of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights in favor of more vague language.
“This revised version of the Magnitsky Act would broaden the power of the President and leave open the possibility of the U.S. government weaponizing our vast financial wealth to threaten foreign officials that hold traditional views on life or marriage in the form of the confiscation of assets or the denial of visas. The President having the ability to threaten other countries to turn on their Christian heritage and change their laws to align with the views of the current White House stands in direct opposition to America’s support for the advancement of human rights and freedom on the world stage.
“Regarding economic relations with Russia, I have already sponsored two bills which, if passed, would impose strict regulations on Russian oil and other goods.
“I encourage the Senate to remove language from the bill that drastically changes the purpose of the Global Magnitsky Act before it is sent to President Biden’s desk.”
As mentioned above, Congressman Grothman is a cosponsor of H.R. 7014, also named the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act and H.R. 6905, the Defund Putin Act. The goal of each bill is to put an end to Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine by weakening the Russian economy through the expansion of the trade tools of the United States.
Congressman Grothman’s concern with the changing purpose of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act is not unfounded. It was recently reported by Life Site news that legislators in the Dominican Republic have received a warning from the American embassy that if they do not legalize abortion, they will be without American visas. With the changes to the Global Magnitsky Act found in H.R. 7108, this warning could be backed up with the threat of sanctions, too.