In a bill reminiscent of events that occurred before World War II, Congressman Don Young is offering legislation that would have the United States seize all Russian boats in U.S. waters and have them sold off to help deliver more aid to the people of Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
In the days leading up to the U.S. entering World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard seized a small Norwegian-owned sealing vessel, the Busko, in East Greenland in September, 1941, which created an uproar in the U.S. media, as the Coast Guard towed the Busko into Boston Harbor, where it was heralded as the capture of an enemy vessel.
Young announced that he is drafting legislation to authorize the seizure of Russian yachts and commercial vessels currently within the waters of the United States.
He is calling his legislation, “Bringing Oligarch Accountability Through Seizure (BOATS) Act.” The bill would also authorize the seizure of Russian-owned vessels flying flags of convenience from other nations.
“This legislative effort comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s violent all-out war on Ukraine and its sovereignty continues,” Young said in his press release.
“America and the rest of the freedom-loving world continue to stand with the Ukrainian people in this time of needless violence and infringement on sovereignty. This is a very difficult moment for Europe, and our solidarity with Ukraine must be backed with urgent action against rich Russian oligarchs who continue living lavish lifestyles on mega-yachts, all while their thuggish friend Vladimir Putin reigns terror upon innocent, peaceful Ukrainians. Putin and his elite enablers must be driven from all areas of global commerce and public life. I continue supporting severe sanctions to devastate Putin’s ability to use Russia’s economy as a piggybank to commit global atrocities, but we must do more,” Young said.
“Over the last few days, I have begun drafting legislation to authorize the seizure of any Russian yachts and commercial vessels currently within U.S. waters. When the House of Representatives reconvenes, I intend to formally introduce the Bringing Oligarch Accountability Through Seizure (BOATS) Act. Given the vast humanitarian crisis created by Putin’s greed and aggression, my BOATS Act will permit the U.S. federal government to auction these vessels and all contents inside, with proceeds going toward humanitarian aid efforts offered by NATO member states. We must send a message of zero tolerance for Russian aggression, which requires us to make life as difficult as possible for Putin’s sycophants. Taking action against Putin and standing with Ukraine has united our country. There is broad bipartisan consensus that Putin’s violence must be met with action, therefore I call on my friends in both parties to join me in this vital effort.”
The U.S. House of Representatives takes up business again on Tuesday.