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8 progressive, conservative House reps vote in rare unison against Ukraine bill

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8 progressive, conservative House reps vote in rare unison against Ukraine bill
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., at left, was one of eight House lawmakers who voted against the resolution asking President Biden to use seized Russian assets to help Ukraine. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

April 28 (UPI) -- The House has passed a bill asking President Joe Biden to seize assets from sanctioned Russian oligarchs and use them to benefit Ukraine, but eight members of the chamber voted against the measure -- four Republicans and four Democrats.

The bill, the Assets Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act, was passed Wednesday by a vote of 417-8. But perhaps the most significant thing about the largely symbolic measure were the "nay" votes.

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The nonbinding resolution encourages Biden to take and sell assets from Russians whose wealth was acquired through corruption linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has said he'd support the move.

Those who voted against seizing oligarchs' assets were Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo.; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C.; Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.; Thomas Massie; R-Ky.; and Chip Roy, R-Texas.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., at right, was one of eight House lawmakers who voted against the resolution asking President Biden to use seized Russian assets to help Ukraine. File Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/UPI
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The vote saw an unusual merging of House lawmakers who are widely considered to be farthest apart on the political spectrum.

None of those who voted "nay" immediately indicated why they opposed the bill.

Although the measure was symbolic in nature, it preceded Biden's move on Thursday to do precisely what the resolution encourages -- taking assets from Russian oligarchs and using them to support Ukraine.

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The White House said that Biden would make a speech Thursday morning detailing the action, along with other moves to help defend Ukraine.

The actions also include new authorities for forfeiting Russian-linked property and strengthening law enforcement tools.

The new funds would pay for U.S. efforts to help Ukraine through the end of fiscal 2022. Biden's government has already provided Ukraine with more than $3 billion since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

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