Meeks Bill Barring Russia from G7 Passes House
Today, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, successfully passed his bill (H.R. 8259) prohibiting the federal use of funds for the purpose of admitting Russia into the G7. Russia, which joined the forum in 1997, expanding it into the G8, was expelled after its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. President Trump has since made public comments supporting Russia's return to the intergovernmental economic organization. Rep. Meeks provided the following statement:
"Russia continues to be an aggressor on the world stage, undermining democracies - including our own - inflaming geopolitical conflicts, poisoning opposition, disregarding state sovereignty, and wreaking havoc in emerging European nations. What binds the G7 together is a shared set of democratic values and interests, and today's Russia has made clear time and again that it is far from earning its seat back at the table.
"Whatever personal and political interests Trump may have in courting Putin's Russia, his public support of returning Russia into the G7 have confused and concerned our allies, and undermined US leadership. Congress has a responsibility to enforce its oversight capacity, and I am proud to have passed through the House my bill prohibiting the use of federal funds in facilitating Russia's membership in the G7.
"Though I strongly believe in the need for dialogue with Russia, it cannot be a party to the G7 until it shares the democratic values and respect for international law that it currently undermines."
H.R. 8259 passed by voice vote, and was cosponsored by Rep. Adam Kizinger (R-IL).