As the US saddles up for a contentious 2020 election, lawmakers have shown they can still work together on the nation’s most pressing issues… by drafting a bipartisan bill to find out how much money Vladimir Putin has.
In what may be the most perfect illustration of why US Congress boasts a 20 percent approval rating, Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida has given birth to the Vladimir Putin Transparency Act, a piece of trailblazing legislation which would require US intelligence agencies to sniff out all assets belonging to Russia’s president.
Co-sponsored by New York Republican Elise Stefanik, the bill serves as a powerful rebuke to the partisan politics that continue to paralyze the legislative branch.
As members of the House Intelligence Committee, the two lawmakers have hinted that the bill is payback for Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election.
“The best way to assail the power of Putin and his enablers is to go after the illegal and secret financial streams that fund their operations,” Demings said in a statement. “It’s time to fight back and protect our democracy.”
Although his salary as Russian president would be peanuts for Jeff Bezos, Putin has been identified by his critics as one of the world’s richest man, although apart from statements no one bothered to provide any proof.
By some particularly wild accounts, the Russian leader may have an eye-watering $200 billion ‘discreetly’ stashed away, maybe in a shoebox under his bed, or maybe in a PayPal account controlled by a trusted friend – nobody knows and that’s why the Vladimir Putin Transparency Act is so important.
The Kremlin on Thursday dismissed the legislation – which could also involve sanctioning Putin’s “discovered” assets – as a case of transparent Russophobia.