The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and ban imports of its oil, ratcheting up the United States response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid reports of atrocities.
Lawmakers overwhelmingly support the substance of the two bills, but they had languished for weeks in the Senate as lawmakers worked to hammer out the final details. Both bills are expected to gain the House
s support later Thursday before going to President Joe Biden .Each bill passed the Senate unanimously, 100-0.Biden has already taken executive action to ban Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal to the United States. The legislation puts the effort into law.
The bill to end normal trade relations with Russia paves the way for Biden to enact higher tariffs on various imports, such as certain steel and aluminum products, further weakening the Russian economy under President Vladimir Putin. It also ensures Belarus receives less favorable tariff treatment.
“Ending normal trade relations hammers home that Putin has has made Russia into a full-fledged pariah state,” said Sen Ron Wyden, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.