War in Ukraine: A Texas representative introduces a bill targeting Russian oligarchs

The bill, introduced by Congressman Lance Gooden, will allow citizens to seize the property of Russian oligarchs and revive a concept known as privatization since the 1800s.

DALLAS – The most widespread response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has so far been in the form of economic sanctions, and not just for Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

A number of countries, including the United States, have imposed sanctions on some Russian oligarchs, targeting a collection of uber-rich people with whom Russia has strong ties to Putin. All this is in the hope of influencing change.

The sanctions revolve around freezing the assets of these oligarchs in the United States and blocking their assets, including the use of private jets and yachts in the United States.

But it was a unique idea that made headlines this week when it was introduced as a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives – and the concept came directly from North Texas.

U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, on Monday introduced a bill calling on President Joe Biden to issue “Marque and Repressive Letters.”

“If President Biden refuses to act quickly, then it is time for Congress and the American people to take matters into their own hands. Russian oligarchs are responsible for facilitating the disgusting occupation of Ukraine,” Gooden said. they have to carry. ”

This is a turning point in similar methods used to seize oligarchs’ yachts in European countries such as France, Italy and Germany – only as Gude explains in an interview with Fox News that his bill could allow private hackers to enter the United States. After the assets of Russia’s “specific state actors”.

Dallas businessman Chart Westcott, who knows Gooden, said he contacted Gooden to present the bill. Westcott’s idea was like sanctions against the oligarchs: hit them where they hurt them by seizing their assets, especially their luxury yachts.

“It’s really coming from yachts,” Westcott said. “These are huge, floating examples of Russia’s excesses and the exploitation of the oligarchs’ economy.”

It is noteworthy that Wescott and Gooden’s plans will not include government agencies seizing these assets. Their proposal will allow private citizens to seize yachts themselves through marquee and repression letters.

Westcott said the idea behind such a bill would be more effective if it was everyone the oligarchs had the right to seize yachts and property, not to be pursued by the government.

The concept, known as privatization, dates back centuries, when governments allowed private ship captains to seize enemy property at sea.

In fact, the U.S. Constitution lists “land and water seizure” signs and letters of repression as powers enumerated by Congress.

But as Brittanica explains, governments have not used privatization since the 1800s, when it was cheaper for countries to hire private ship captains than to build their own fleets.

That’s right fair President Biden and Congress are unlikely to allow private citizens to seize foreign assets on the high seas.

However, Westcott said he hoped Gooden’s bill would help discuss the possible confiscation of the oligarchs and their assets.

“For me, warning Putin and the oligarchs was another abomination in the universe,” Westcott said. “As Steve Jobs said, it’s wonderful to make a hole in the universe.”

War in Ukraine: A Texas representative introduces a bill targeting Russian oligarchs

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