Sen. Gardner Introduces New Russia Sanctions Legislation

<p>(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)</p>
<p>Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.</p>

Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senator has signed on as a cosponsor of a bipartisan bill aimed at a new round of sanctions against the Russian government.

“The United States must continue to take strong actions against Vladimir Putin’s Russia for their global violations of international law and repeated attempts to undermine U.S. democratic institutions,” Sen. Cory Gardner said Monday.

In the Senate, Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona, along with Democrats Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced the the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018 together.

Senators on the Intelligence Committee have grown increasingly frustrated with what they see as inaction on Russian interference in U.S. affairs, NPR reports:

Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., summed up how lawmakers and Trump administration officials have failed to acknowledge the dangerous problem of foreign influence operations in America on Wednesday, with a description of an Internet meme.

"Some feel that we as a society are sitting in a burning room, calmly drinking a cup of coffee, telling ourselves, 'This is fine.' That's not fine," Burr said. "We should no longer be talking about if the Russians attempted to interfere with American society. They've been doing it since the days of the Soviet Union, and they're still doing it today."

The bill would also require the State Department “to determine whether Russia merits the designation of a State Sponsor of Terror, along with Kremlin allies Iran and Syria that are already designated,” Gardner said in a statement.