It appears that Biden’s original response to Putin’s invasion was not doing what he hoped. Russia continues to attack Ukraine. Biden’s sanctions only seem to be hurting the U.S. economy. Lawmakers had demanded Biden take extra steps to ban Russian oil (although most refineries had already embargoed Russian oil, leading to recent gas price spikes).
Congress went as far as to prepare a veto-proof bill banning Russian oil.
From NBC News:
The leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee announced Monday that they had struck a bipartisan deal to pass legislation that would ban the import of energy products from Russia.
The bill includes strong measures that prevent the U.S. from doing business with Russia and its ally Belarus. Seeing that he’s facing a no-win situation, Biden is moving ahead of Congress. But is his ban doesn’t seem as strong.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced that the U.S. will ban imports of Russian oil, a major escalation in the international response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine…
Most of the country’s crude oil and petroleum imports come from Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, making the U.S. far less dependent on Russian oil than many of its European partners.
Biden’s ban on Russian oil does not go as far as Congress’ bill, which also called for a suspension in “normal trade relations with Russia” and Belarus. It would also have increased tariffs on products, which would have that added benefit of making U.S. products more competitive. Biden’s decision appears to only target Russian oil and leaves out Belarus entirely.
Critics are saying Biden is trying to get ahead of Congress with this decision. The bill, which enjoys bipartisan support, could have been veto-proof, denying Biden a say in the decision. If that is the case, Congress should just go ahead and do it anyway. If lawmakers really believe this is the right response—and can end the war faster—then why not? Biden can’t veto it. And it’s clear Biden is not taking decisive enough steps to confront Putin.
But how much will this move really impact the war? Most American companies were already embargoing Russian oil. Gas prices have gone up so much in just a week or two, because of this. And there has been ZERO talk about meeting this new ban with more American-produced oil. How can we limit America’s supply of energy and not replace it with something else?
Republican lawmakers keep calling for an increase in American oil and gas drilling. But Biden refuses to comply. How high will gas prices go—before Democrats come to their senses?