Blue Dog Leadership Demands Answers on Reports of Russian Bounties on American Soldiers in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Administration, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), issued the following statement in response to reports revealing a Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan and reports that there has been a Republican-only briefing on the matter:
“The Administration should immediately provide a bipartisan briefing to Congress—not just Republicans or Democrats separately—on the intelligence behind allegations that Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. If the reports are verified to be true, the United States must hold Putin to account for his thuggish, murderous actions. After Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 and 2018 U.S. elections, the Blue Dogs called on Congress to pass the most hard-hitting sanctions ever imposed against Russia. If true, the latest reports merit a strong and swift response from Congress and would reinforce the need for the President to strengthen the NATO alliance rather than undermining it at every turn.”
In the wake of the conclusions presented in Volume I of the Mueller report, the Blue Dog Coalition took the lead in Congress to call for a comprehensive, bipartisan effort to secure U.S. elections, hold Russia accountable for its attempts to meddle in the 2016 and 2018 elections, and deter other adversaries from interfering in future elections. Last year, the Blue Dogs took initiative to raise the alarm by endorsing a package of legislative proposals that have earned bipartisan support in the House and Senate. The news of the Blue Dog proposal received praise from political leaders, and policy experts and organizations, and the threat of increased sanctions on Russia caused the value of the Russian ruble to drop. Among the legislation endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition was the Senate’s bipartisan Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA) Act of 2019, which, among other things, would impose significant sanctions to deter Russia’s destructive behavior.