House approves the bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia

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House approves the bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia

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(CNN) The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia, the latest effort by US lawmakers to inflict economic pain on the Kremlin for its unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine.

The final vote was 424-8 with strong bipartisan support for the legislation, which will then pass in the Senate.

The bill suspends normal trade relations with Belarus as well as Russia. It was introduced by House Ways and Means President Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts, along with the panel’s ranking GOP member, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas.

Republicans Andy Biggs of Arizona, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Chip Roy of Texas voted against the drawing of law.

The House’s approval of the legislation comes a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued an emotional plea in a virtual speech to Congress for more U.S. assistance as the country faces deadly attacks from Russia.

President Joe Biden announced last week that the United States, along with the G7 and the European Union, would be calling for the lifting of “most favored nation” status for Russia, the normal permanent trade relations in the United States. The status means that two nations have agreed to trade on the best possible terms, which may include lower rates and fewer barriers to trade, Biden said. This move requires congressional approval.

Neal and Brady said Thursday in a joint statement: “We must do everything possible to hold Putin accountable for senselessly attacking the Ukrainian people and undermining global stability. The suspension of normal trade relations is an essential part of our effort to restore peace, save lives and defend democracy “.

On Thursday morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in the courtroom that he would work swiftly to present a bill in the Senate to revoke normal permanent trade relations with Russia once the bill is passed in the House.

“Both sides remain united in sending Putin a clear message: his inhuman violence against the Ukrainian people will have a paralyzing price and today’s step in the House is another way to do it,” Schumer said. “When the House passes this bill, I expect it will have broad bipartisan support here in the Senate and I will work with my colleagues to find a way to quickly move it to this chamber.”

CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

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