As DMGS noted earlier this week, governors around the country have already taken steps in responding to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Governors have already called for ending state contracts with Russian entities, divesting state dollars from Russian companies, and ending the purchase and sale of Russian-made vodka.
While state capitols have lit themselves azure and yellow in support of the Ukrainian people, lawmakers and other state officials are also hoping to act. While some actions may be more symbolic, such as resolutions supporting Ukraine and denouncing Russia, others propose more pointed resolutions and legislation.
Colorado lawmakers passed SJR 22-004. In the resolution, lawmakers affirmed their support for Ukraine and its people. They condemned Vladimir Putin’s attack on the Ukrainian people. The resolution further endorses the swift and severe economic sanctions and stringent export controls that the Biden administration has imposed on Russia. It also urges Russia to cease its assault on Ukraine.
On February 28, Georgia’s Secretary of State called on Georgia businesses and investors to stop business with Russia in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The Secretary of State, also Georgia’s Commissioner of Securities overseeing the registration of businesses in the state, made the plea to “demonstrate our resolve on the side of liberty and freedom from tyranny.”
The Secretary of State further warned Georgia citizens to watch out for scam charities looking to profit from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Lawmakers introduced HR 3658 to urge the U.S. President to take specific actions to respond to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Specifically, HR 3658 recommends that President Biden, as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act, immediately provide additional intelligence, weapons, and supplies to Ukraine, including anti-armor weapons, anti-aircraft weapons, and small arms. The resolution further calls for the President to send additional troops, weapons, weapon systems, and equipment to help defend NATO members.
HR 3658 also calls for:
- The President to reconvene a meeting of the G7 countries to increase sanctions and other economic measures against Russia;
- The U.S. to restrict the Russian banking and financial sectors and other key industrial sectors;
- The U.S. to bolster energy connectivity in Eastern Europe;
- The U.S. to adopt a new global free-market energy policy that would eliminate barriers to energy exports from the U.S.;
- The U.S. to withdraw from the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; and
- The U.S. to expand the target list of Russian officials under the Magnitsky Act.
The Oklahoma Senate passed SR 27 in late February, affirming the state’s support for the Ukrainian people. The resolution notes that Oklahoma is home to many Ukrainian immigrants and the Oklahoma Friends of Ukraine, founded in 1993 to support educational, cultural, and supportive activities related to Ukraine and provide information about the Ukrainian people, history, and customs.
The resolution specifically affirms the state’s long-standing ties with Ukraine, condemns the invasion by Russia, and calls for the people of Oklahoma to offer their prayers for both Ukraine and Ukrainian citizens.
Numerous resolutions have already been introduced by Pennsylvania lawmakers of both parties related to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Notably, House Resolution 175, introduced by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, would divest all Pennsylvania investments in Russian companies and holdings.
An additional resolution would urge the governors of New York and New Jersey to end their states’ policies banning the construction of any new natural gas pipelines. The resolution’s sponsor argued that the United States is helping to fund the Russian war by importing Russian oil and natural gas.
Another resolution would urge Congress to take further actions against Russia, including designating the Russian government as a state-sponsor of terrorism, designating Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, enforcing the Magnitsky Act by sanctioning Russian leaders who have violated human rights, blocking all assets and transactions of Russian banking institutions, placing an embargo on Russian oil and gas, provide humanitarian assistance for displaced Ukrainians, banning Russian propaganda accounts from social media, and banning air travel over Russia.
Additionally, Pennsylvania’s State Treasurer has dumped about $3 million in PA investments in Russian holdings due to the Russian invasion.
Lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 730 recently that would divest state-managed funds from companies engaged with either Russia or Russian energy. Specifically, the bill would authorize and encourage state investment entities to restrict the investment or use of state funds from supporting the Russian government or Russian state-owned companies while the Russian attack on Ukraine continues.
Congress could provide more Ukraine aid than the $6.4 billion the White House had requested before the February 24 Russian invasion. Lawmakers are discussing a $10 billion funding total, which they could add onto the $1.5 trillion government funding bill lawmakers are assembling ahead of a March 11 deadline. The Biden administration has told Congress that it will request close to $2.9 billion for humanitarian and security needs for Ukraine, the Baltic countries, Poland, and others in the region and $3.5 billion for the Defense Department in response to the Russian invasion.
Separately, senators of both parties are also encouraging the Biden administration to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which would allow Ukrainian nationals already present in the U.S. to stay. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) led a bipartisan letter calling on the administration to quickly “ensure that Ukrainian nationals present in the United States are not forced to return to Ukraine.”