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The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee warned Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will invade Ukraine in the coming weeks and urged Congress and President Biden to get tougher on Russia.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said he couldn’t discuss classified briefings he’s received on Russia, but said Putin is setting out a “very aggressive timetable” to send troops into Ukraine.
“My prediction is you’re going to see Russia invading Ukraine in the next month,” McCaul said Friday on a call with reporters to discuss Biden’s foreign policy.
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McCaul said Russia sees Biden as a “weak president” and the lack of deterrence is emboldening Putin to “conduct what could be the largest invasion in Europe since World War II.”
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 25: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), speaks at a bipartisan news conference on the ongoing Afghanistan evacuations, at the U.S. Capitol on August 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. McCaul urged President Biden to continue to evacuate all American’s and those with special immigrant visas. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Russia has amassed a force of around 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s border as talks continue between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. State Department. Biden raised eyebrows during his press conference Wednesday when he also predicted Russia would invade Ukraine, but suggested a “minor incursion” could elicit a lesser response.
The White House later sought to immediately clean up the comments saying: “If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies.”
Congressional leaders are ready to pass legislation to sanction Russia.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday said in a letter to her colleagues that the House will advance legislation to help Ukraine and sanction Russia. The bill, authored by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., mirrors legislation introduced last week by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., in the Senate.
The legislation would slap Russia with economic sanctions and authorize $500 million in supplemental emergency security assistance to Ukraine in the event of a re-invasion by Russia.
SOCHI, RUSSIA – OCTOBER,21 (RUSSIA OUT): Russian President Vladimir Putin speeches during the Valdai Discussion Club’s plenary meeting, on October 21, 2021 in Sochi, Russia. ( Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
“Russia’s continued troop buildup, both on the border of Ukraine and in Belarus, is an act of aggression that is as reckless as it is alarming,” Meeks said in a statement Friday. “While I remain hopeful that diplomacy can de-escalate tensions on the Ukranian border, it is necessary that the United States, together with our transatlantic allies, make clear that any activities constituting an invasion by the Russian army into sovereign territory will be met with significant repercussions.”
But McCaul said the legislation doesn’t go far enough because it delays implementation until after an invasion. He and Republicans have introduced other legislation, known as the GUARD Act, that issues immediate sanctions.
A bipartisan compromise bill could also come to fruition, Fox News Digital is told.
“The key to addressing Russian aggression is deterrence,” McCaul said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “This administration has done far too little to deter Russia from further invading Ukraine which is why I introduced the GUARD Act. This bill expedites significant additional lethal assistance to Ukraine and immediately sanctions Putin’s malign influence project, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”
Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, former chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for an end to the ‘diversity’ visa program.
McCaul said that delaying assistance will be costly.
“Slow rolling this type of assistance and support as Kyiv sits at the epicenter of what could be the biggest conflict since World War II is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.
Marisa Schultz is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to email@example.com or @marisa.schultz.