The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to ban imports of Russia oil as well as to encourage the country's suspension from the World Trade Organization. Photo by Alexei Nikolsky/EPA-EFE
March 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives late Wednesday overwhelmingly passed legislation to prohibit the importation of energy products from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The House lawmakers passed the bill 414-17 with 15 Republicans and two Democrats voting against.
Bill House Resolution 6968 bans the importation of energy products, including oil, natural gas and coal, from Russia starting 45 days after the legislation is enacted as well as directs the U.S. trade representative to seek the suspension of Russia at the World Trade Organization.
The bill also reauthorizes sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights and Accountability Act to allow it to target those involved in human rights abuses in Ukraine.
If signed into law, the bill is widely expected to increase costs at the pump.
"Let me say that I have only one agenda in this matter," Rep. Lloyd Doggett who sponsored the bill, said from the floor, "and that is to respond to the aggression and do all we can to try and stop the brutal attacks unprovoked on the Ukrainian people."
With the inclusion of the call to suspend Russia from the WTO, the legislation goes further than President Joe Biden's oil import ban announced Tuesday.
Prior to the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters earlier in the day that the bill passed Wednesday isn't incompatible with Biden's and that they had to consider it on the floor as they had an agreement presented.
"We've been talking about doing the Russian ban for a while, and we're so pleased that the president has done that," she said. "But, you know, you're here to legislate. This is a democratic process."
The vote occurred after the House passed a sweeping $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package, which included $13.5 billion for Ukraine.