After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pelosi said on Thursday, “I’m all for that. Ban it,” as she joined the growing movement to ban Russian oil as a way to punish Moscow.
Nancy Pelosi Spoke Before Two Senators
Nancy Pelosi spoke for a very long duration before Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), two senators from key fossil-fuel states, plan to offer their own push for a Russian oil embargo. Both parties have sent similar messages to their representatives.
At a time when the price of gas is already one of the Democrats’ most visible political weaknesses, this is a notable move by the speaker.
It’s likely that restricting Russian imports at a time of high crude oil prices will have an impact on already-high gasoline prices in the United States. Inflation is a major concern for Biden and his party, which is just eight months away from the midterm elections.
Even so, it’s not clear if the mounting congressional pressure will have any effect on the White House’s thinking. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House deputy press secretary, downplayed the idea of the Russian imports ban on Wednesday, citing the impact it would have on U.S. gas prices.
At the gas station, Pelosi countered, “The issue of the price of gas and the price of oil is directly related to what’s happening in Ukraine.”
In addition, she provided a global context by quoting a Ukrainian official who claimed that his people were being killed while other countries complained about having to pay a higher price for their goods.
In particular, Republicans have urged Biden to put a stop to foreign imports of petroleum. The GOP may be doing this as a political ploy to raise gas prices on their opponents ahead of the midterm elections, however, some Democrats are concerned.
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), a former State Department official, said, “If Republicans are going to be urging us to do things that make the problem worse, we need to be saying, ‘We’re in it together.'”
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