Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen made the next move in a complicated Washington dance to extend sanctions against key Venezuelan officials.
The Miami Republican dropped a bill Friday morning for a three-year extension of the president’s authority to sanction Venezuelan leaders for violating human rights. The legislation is a companion bill to one authored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., which passed Thursday after complicated negotiations that included confirming Roberta Jacobson as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.
Rubio lifted a months-long blockade that allowed Jacobson to be confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Mexico on Thursday after the Obama administration agreed to approve the extension.
The legislation allows U.S. officials to freeze the assets of Venezuelan leaders that U.S. holds responsible for the violence and arrests that resulted after controversial 2014 protests.
Ros-Lehtinen was joined on the legislation by fellow South Florida Republicans Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo as well as Florida Democrats Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch. Ros-Lehtinen’s legislation is the companion bill to a Senate bill passed by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., on Thursday.
“The regime’s corruption, control of the judiciary, and lack of respect for the rule of law has severely restricted basic rights in Venezuela like freedom of expression and due process, yet not nearly enough is being done to sanction the responsible officials,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.