Biden Seeks Power to Give Russian Billionaires’ Seized Assets to Ukraine

The proposal has strong bipartisan support in Congress

President Biden is seeking the power to send the assets of Russian billionaires that have been seized by the US to Ukraine.

The White House said that Biden has asked Congress to craft legislation that would “streamline the process for seizure of oligarch assets, expand the assets subject to seizure, and enable the proceeds to flow to Ukraine.”

Biden also wants the legislation to make it a criminal offense to “knowingly or intentionally possess proceeds directly obtained from corrupt dealings with the Russian government.” The legislation is also meant to target sanctions evasion.

Back in March, the US Justice and Treasury Departments launched a task force with US allies to seize the assets of Russian billionaires across the globe. According to the White House, the EU task force members have seized over $30 billion in assets.

On Wednesday night, Congress voted on the Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act, a bill that calls for Biden to use seized private Russian funds for Ukraine. It’s not clear if this version of the bill is comprehensive enough for Biden, but it received massive bipartisan support, passing in a vote of 417-8.

The lawmakers that voted against the bill are Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Chip Roy (R-TX), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Cori Bush (D-MO), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

In comments to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez said the legislation risks violating the Fourth Amendment. “This vote asked President Biden to violate the Fourth Amendment, seize private property and determine where it would go — all without due process,” the spokesperson said.

“This sets a risky new precedent in the event of future presidents who may seek to abuse that expansion of power, especially with so many of our communities already fighting civil asset forfeiture,” the spokesperson added.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.