Washington D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) gave the following remarks on H.J. Res. 30, disapproving of easing Russia sanctions.

To watch the full remarks as delivered, click here

Remarks as prepared by Ranking Member McCaul:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this resolution.

I have long maintained that provocations by Vladimir Putin and his cronies require a decisive and forceful response by the United States.

As the former Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I led the effort to strengthen our cyber-defenses so that Russia cannot attack our political institutions or undermine our democracy.  I’ve seen the classified reports and I know those threats. I take a back seat to no one in confronting Russia’s malicious activities.

The whole world has seen Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and its support for Assad’s brutality in Syria.

Bottom line, Putin’s Russia is an adversary, and must be treated as one.

An effective foreign policy needs to use all economic and diplomatic tools to confront belligerent behavior by a foreign power.

Those who threaten America and our allies need to understand that they will pay a heavy price so long as those threats persist.

As someone who believes that partisanship should stop at the water’s edge, I don’t believe this issue should divide our two parties.

But this also means that Congress must guard against playing partisan politics with sanctions. We must impose them when they are warranted.  And we must allow them to be lifted when they have accomplished their goals.

I think that many Members find Treasury’s case for de-listing these particular Russian companies to be arguable, but not compelling.

For example, some still have questions about whether moving some of Deripaska’s shares to a family charity and to a sanctioned Russian bank will sufficiently sever the control and enrichment that he currently enjoys, and whether we can adequately monitor that.

Even though we may have a good-faith disagreement about the wisdom of this particular de-listing at this point in time, I want to commend the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.  They implement and police many of the sanctions that Congress enacts.   There are good reasons for their bipartisan reputation for integrity and professionalism.

But because we cannot be sure that we have removed the heavy hand of this Russian oligarch, I cannot support the de-listing of these sanctioned entities at this point in time.

Therefore I support this resolution, and I reserve the balance of my time.”