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Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), along with Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act. This legislation will provide additional assistance to Ukraine using assets confiscated from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and other sovereign assets of the Russian Federation.

“The decision to launch the unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine was Russia’s and Russia’s alone – so Putin must pay,” said McCaul. “Sadly, we’ve seen time and again the Biden administration play a weak hand and too eagerly make major concessions in negotiations with our adversaries, including over Iran’s nuclear program, the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and in the lead up to sitting down with the CCP. Therefore, Congress must act to prohibit the administration from trading away Russian state assets before they can be used to compensate Ukraine and to carve out a much-needed path for the U.S. to work with our allies to use these funds for reconstruction. I am proud to support this bill which is not only critical to ensuring justice for Ukraine and being good stewards of U.S. taxpayer dollars, but also sends a powerful deterrent signal to other adversaries that if they want to continue to trade in dollars, euros and yen, they cannot launch unprovoked aggression.”

“Over a year into Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, more than $300 billion in Russian sovereign assets remain frozen globally,” said Risch. “Given Russia’s brutality and continued war crimes against the Ukrainian people, it is only right that Russian government funds in the United States be seized and repurposed to help Ukraine rebuild its country. The REPO Act will help us do just that. I hope our Senate colleagues will join Senator Whitehouse and I in this important effort.”

“Responsibility for the senseless and brutal war being waged against Ukraine lies with Russia alone. It must be Russia that shoulders responsibility for rebuilding Ukraine in the aftermath,” said Kaptur. “The spirit and determination of the Ukrainian people remains unbroken, but the dams, hospitals, schools, courts of law, and neighborhoods decimated by Russian tanks and bombs will require time and resources to emerge from the ashes. The Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act will ensure Russia bears the cost of returning Ukraine to her full glory, while guaranteeing that the Ukrainian people can truly prosper in their hard fought Liberty.” 

“It will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild Ukraine’s economy after its people beat back Russia’s murderous and brutal invasion; it only makes sense that Putin’s Russian regime should foot that bill,” said Whitehouse. “The bipartisan REPO Act would ensure the United States—as the lynchpin of the transatlantic alliance—can take a leadership role in making that happen.”

This legislation:

  • Gives the president the authority to confiscate Russian sovereign assets that have been frozen in the United States and transfer them to assist in Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts.
  • Prohibits the release of funds to sanctioned Russian entities until Russia withdraws from Ukraine and agrees to provide compensation for harm caused by its unprovoked war. 
  • Instructs the president to work with allies and partners to establish an international compensation mechanism to transfer confiscated or frozen Russian sovereign assets to assist Ukraine.
  • Gives the State Department Office of Sanctions Coordination additional resources to work with partners and allies abroad toward the goal of confiscation of additional Russian sovereign assets in other countries.
  • Ensures Putin – not U.S. taxpayers – foots the bill for the damage caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

The full text of the legislation can be found here