Lawmakers Look to Get Tough on Russia

THE HILL — Russian aggression will be high on lawmakers’ minds when the House Armed Services Committee meets Wednesday to mark up its annual defense policy bill.

Over the last two weeks, the Russians have buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer, barrel rolled over a U.S. reconnaissance plane and warned the United States to steer clear of its territory.

In response, committee members say there will be plenty in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to deter Russia.

“We do have money to station troops in various parts of Eastern Europe, and that’s the main thing, to have a presence in the region and to show support for our allies,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the committee.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been tense since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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