In a recent vote held shortly before the current break on which the House and Senate have gone, the House rejected a proposal from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) that would have undone a declaration of emergency made by then-President Barack Obama in 2011 related to violence in Libya.
These presidential declarations have provided the legal foundation for punitive economic actions by the U.S., meaning sanctions that restrict the access of individuals and groups of concern to financial resources. Republicans ideologically aligned with Gosar, including Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), also sponsored resolutions targeting individual presidential declarations of an emergency from years past, and these initiatives failed again and again. The proposal from Gosar, which was cosponsored by Boebert, Gaetz, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), went under with 388 members in opposition and only 30 in favor.
The totals in the final tally were relatively close to the figures in results from votes in the chamber on similarly styled initiatives. Repeatedly, opponents raised concerns amid debate on the House floor that enacting the far-right Republicans’ plans would lead to a nearly immediate lifting of economic restrictions affecting individuals and groups directly connected to terrorism. A push sponsored by Gaetz would have undone an emergency declaration covering the situation in Syria, while a proposal sponsored by Boebert would have ended a similar declaration connected to events in the southern African country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On the House floor, Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) alleged even notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout stood to benefit from lifting the sanctions imposed via the declaration Boebert was targeting, though the Colorado Republican contested he’d benefit from her ill-fated proposal. Lawler was also concerned about the procedural legwork that would be necessary to put similarly restrictive frameworks back in place if these Republicans were successful.