Press Release ● Defense and National Security
For Immediate Release: 
January 29, 2018
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the Trump Administration's decision to not impose further sanctions related to Russia:

“As one of the co-authors of the legislation authorizing sanctions against Russia for its malfeasant actions, I am disappointed that the Administration chose not to make any public pronouncement on sanctions or put forward a concrete plan for how it plans to deter further Russian aggression.  Instead, they claimed that no new sanctions would be necessary because our legislation itself is a deterrent.  Absent senior-level, sustained diplomacy, I do not believe this is the case, and in fact I believe it will send the opposite signal from what Congress intended. Sanctions are a deterrent only if countries believe the U.S. will impose them.  The anemic announcements today, with no statements from senior Administration officials, do not give me confidence that is the case.  This is especially troubling given CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s comment today that he expects Russia will try once again to interfere in U.S. elections.   
 
“While I recognize the State Department’s diplomatic efforts, I learned over ten years as Chairman of the Helsinki Commission that silence and behind-the-scenes maneuvering do not yield results when dealing with an autocrat like Vladimir Putin.  I urge the Administration to act with strength, to act publicly, and to forcefully implement sanctions as intended.  Today’s inaction, coupled with the impending delivery of a classified report on Russia’s oligarchs that we had hoped would be issued publicly, do not meet the expectations of lawmakers who worked in a bipartisan way to authorize sanctions that through their imposition constitute the deterrence we need.”