Florida Congressional Republicans: Time to Ban Russian Wood, Increase Harvesting on Public Lands

Six Republicans from the Sunshine State are backing U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman’s, R-Ark., proposal to “ban imports of wood products from Russia and Belarus during the war with Ukraine, and ramp up domestic timber harvesting on public lands and national forests.”

Westerman introduced the “No Timber From Tyrants Act” last week. The bill “would direct the Agriculture and Interior secretaries to harvest more timber from already authorized plans in order to substitute for the loss of the imported wood products.”

“America should be pushing back on Putin’s war of aggression from every possible angle, and there’s no better way to do that than by cutting Russia’s economy off at the knees. We imported hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of wood products from Russia last year alone, giving Russia the power to channel those funds directly into Putin’s war. No more. By immediately banning the import of all Russian timber, we can not only deal a harsh blow to tyranny, but we can also simultaneously boost American industries. Enough rhetoric – it’s time to show Putin we mean business and stop economically propping up his senseless violence. I’m proud to see so many of my colleagues joining me in this effort, and hope to see this bill passed quickly,” said Westerman who leads Republicans on the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.

The bill has more than 80 co-sponsors, all from the Republican side, including Florida GOP U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Carlos Gimenez, John Rutherford and Dan Webster.

“Active forest management and timber harvests protect the health of our forests, and can create domestic jobs, support rural communities, and reduce U.S. reliance on Russian and Belarusian wood and timber products,” said Webster. “This legislation will further hold Putin accountable for his heinous, evil attacks on Ukrainians while strengthening our national security and domestic product.”

The National Association of Home Builders, the American Forest and Paper Association and the Federal Forest Resource Coalition are backing the proposal.

With Democrats controlling both chambers on Capitol Hill, the bill will have a hard time clearing Congress. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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