INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Senator Dan Coats wants the President to crack down on Russia in new and different ways. He offered some of his own ideas in a speech delivered on the Senate floor Monday.
In an interview from Washington, the GOP Senator said it’s time to double down on Russia.
“We need to think of every possible way we can to make the Russians pay a very heavy price for what they’ve done,” he said, “and to prevent them from doing it again.”
Coats also took to the Senate floor to make that case that Russian President Putin needs to be punished.
“Doing something now could prevent something much worse later,” he told the Senate. “Standing up now could prevent something much more serious in terms of what we might have to do later.”
All this comes just days after Russia included Coats on a list of American officials named in a travel ban.
Coats responded with humor, going on Twitter to post a top ten list of things he won’t be able to do now. His summer vacation in Siberia, he tweeted, is a no go.
Here’s the message he was trying to send: “Hey, nothing you could do by listing me is going to have an impact on me.”
But the humor only goes so far.
“This is a serious issue,” he said. “It needs a serious response.”
And that’s why he now wants to punish American allies who purchase weapons from the Russians.
“I think we have to hit the Russians hard on the economic side,” he said. “They have a fragile economy.”
Coats also has a theory for the reason why he was on the list of people banned from Russia. He linked it to his time served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany during the Bush Administration.
He say that during that time Russian spies listened to everything he said.