Illhan Omar Will Vote Against Bill Banning Russian Oil
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota says she will vote against a forthcoming bill that would ban the importation of Russian oil and levy further sanctions against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
“That’s not only going to have a devastating impact on the people of Russia, but on Europe as well,” Omar said in an interview on “Rising” on The Hill TV. “When we’re having these conversations, they can’t be about just the immediate, gratifying response that we want to come up with.”
President Joe Biden on Tuesday banned US imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal after coming under pressure from Congress to do so, declaring that the US “will not be subsidizing Putin’s war.” The UK similarly announced on Tuesday that it will phase out Russian oil and gas imports by the end of 2022. The bans will likely raise gas prices, which reached an average of $4.17 per gallon in the US on Tuesday.
The House is working on a broader bill to do the same thing.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no legislative text had yet been released, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues that the legislation would include a “review” of Russia’s access to the World Trade Organization as well as “explore how we can further diminish Russia in the global economy.” The bill would also include an expansion of the Magnitsky Act, which allows the US to sanction entities that it deems to be human rights violators.
“That legislation does not just have a ban on oil, but it has other undesirable sanctions that I will not be supporting,” said Omar.
“Whether it is politically or morally, we have to think about what this means a year from now, what this means two years, three years from now,” she continued. “I think ultimately, this is not going to end well, for the the actual people of Russia, and it’s not going to end well, for the people of Europe as well.”
.@IlhanMN tells us she’s a no on the legislation being written to ban Russian oil imports, which’ll include additional sanctions.
Full interview covers the role of the UAE in protecting Russian oligarchs and the hypocrisy of cozying up to Saudi Arabia pic.twitter.com/bi7vrkcYUt
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 8, 2022
It was unclear exactly what Omar meant in her reference to the people of Europe, and her office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. However, much of Europe is far more dependent on Russian energy than the United States.
“Look, I support sanctions on Putin and his allies,” said Omar. “But do I think that the broad-based sanctions that we are imposing on Russia is going to have a devastating impact on Putin? No. I think they’re going to have a devastating impact on the people.”
She later referenced ongoing sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran that are designed to put pressure on leaders but have failed to do so.
“I think that there has to be a balancing act, and we can’t continue to deploy the same playbook that has failed us over and over again,” said Omar.
Omar also criticized the administration amid reports that the US is looking to repair relations with Saudi Arabia and encourage it to pump more oil as it bans Russian oil.
“I hardly see a principled stance here, right?,” she said. “If our issue is that we are unwilling to buy oil from a dictator, who is waging a war on a weaker neighboring country, I can hardly see where the principle is in going to Saudi Arabia and cozying up to another tyrant.”
Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a bombing campaign against the neighboring country of Yemen since 2015. The United Nations has called the situation in Yemen “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”
Omar, a member of the progressive “Squad,” has long been an outspoken voice on foreign policy who’s often found herself at odds even with Democratic colleagues. In September, she was one of just a handful of House members to vote against an additional $1 billion dollars for Israel’s Iron Dome system, citing Israeli human rights abuses.
Earlier on Tuesday, Omar said on Twitter that flooding Ukraine with American weapons would be “unpredictable and “likely disastrous.” She later defended herself by saying that “criticizing and questioning is my job as a leader and a member of Congress.”
I support giving Ukraine the resources it needs to defend its people, I just have legitimate concerns about the size and scope.
Btw, criticizing and questioning is my job as a leader and a member of Congress. It’s the hardest part of the job, trust me it’s easy to just follow. https://t.co/XIioIlU5D8
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 8, 2022
Update — Twitter responds:
Ah, but she’ll vote to strip the Iron Dome of funding despite its impact on Israelis. pic.twitter.com/hm9w978rh3
— Blake Flayton 🇺🇦 (@blakeflayton) March 9, 2022
Wow – unreal hypocrisy!
Ilhan Omar supports Boycott, Divestment, Santions (BDS) against Israel but says she'll vote NO on banning Russian oil and levying sanctions on Moscow.https://t.co/jbjMgvIkGy
— Sia Kordestani (@SiaKordestani) March 9, 2022
Omar Says She'll Vote Against Russian Oil Ban, Citing Impact on Russians. (which is, of course, exactly why she *does* want sanctions against nearly half the world’s Jews). https://t.co/f7sOanuTr9
— Mike Harris (@DrMikeH49) March 9, 2022
Original Article: Ilhan Omar says she’ll vote against a bill to ban Russian oil, citing the ‘devastating impact’ on the Russian people