7/28 Erik Paulsen Correspondence Corner : Weak Russia Response

Erik Paulsen regularly issues a video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed.
The MN Political Roundtable will be evaluating Congressman Paulsen’s responses and encouraging readers to offer their own assessments.

Yesterday’s topic, H.R.3218 – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017.

Today’s topic, Russia sanctions.

Before viewing this week’s Correspondence Corner clip, let’s remember the October 8, 2016 press release from candidate Erik Paulsen

For months, I have said Donald Trump has not earned my vote. The disgusting statements revealed last night make it clear he cannot. I will not be voting for him.

Both of the major candidates for president are deeply flawed. Irrespective of who is elected president, it is clear that the country needs a strong co-equal branch of government.

And Congress needs to hold the executive branch accountable.

I have a solid record of working in a bipartisan way for the Third District and for Minnesota and I will across the aisle to get important things done.
Erik Paulsen

So in response to Roger from Eden Prairie, Congressman Paulsen states in this week’s Correspondence Corner that he has voted for H.R.3364 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

The legislation was approved 419-3 and is designed to provide congressional review related to the Governments of Iran, the Russian Federation, and North Korea.

What is the House doing here ?
Well, they want to keep the Obama sanctions … “specified executive order sanctions against Russia shall remain in effect.”
You may remember that House Speaker Paul Ryan had agreed with President Obama when he announced these sanctions.
So nothing new here … just embraced Executive Order Numbers 13660, 13661, 13662, 13685, 13694 and 13757.

What the world is learning is that American has a very weak president in Donald Trump … more concerned with making friends with Putin than standing up to him.

Let’s face it … the House had to act after the Senate showed leadership when it passed the Klobuchar-Graham-McCain-sponsored S.341 – Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017.
The Trump White House did not like that bill … and worked to weaken it in the House.
And the House complied.
So much for the And Congress needs to hold the executive branch accountable.

Heck, let’s remember that the House had the identical bill — H.R. 1059 sponsored by 15 Republicans and 32 Democrats which was assigned to Congressman Paulsen’s Ways and Means Committee. Not only didn’t Congressman Paulsen sponsor that bill … the committee failed to act on it.

The new bill is weaker … H.R. 3364 authorizes the President to delay the imposition of sanctions targeting Russian intelligence and defense sectors that the Senate bill made mandatory … and targets “new” oil projects essentially grandfathering in existing projects – once again weaker than the Senate version.

And how has Russia reacted to this bill ?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is expelling 755 U.S. diplomats and technical personnel … and the weak Donald Trump has failed to say a word about this.

Let’s agree with candidate Paulsen’s statement — And Congress needs to hold the executive branch accountable — and some Members want to … while others just seem to be willing to be #TrumpPocketProtectors.

Once again, Congressman Paulsen’s Correspondence Corner leads voters to back to the same question :
Would another Congressman do something more ?

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