The United States' position as the fulcrum of the global economy gives the government tremendous power to levy sanctions against nation states deemed to be bad actors. These sanctions often significantly debilitate the targeted country's currency and economic institutions.

President Joe Biden, allied with the majority of the Western world, has exercised this power in full force in response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine with a barrage of unprecedented sanctions that have shut Russia out of the market and cratered the value of the Russian ruble.

According to Marine veteran and Congressman Jake Auchincloss (MA-4), the sanctions are working but more can and must be done to weaken Vladimir Putin's influence in global affairs.

"There's really three areas where have to do more: oil, China and airplanes," Rep. Auchincloss said as he joined me on-air last weekend.

"We've got to cut off Russian oil, it's by far their most important export in terms of keeping their government funded and for access to hard currency," Auchincloss said. "Working with our OPEC allies...and looking at our own domestic productive capacity, United States can buffer consumers from spiking energy volatility should we cut off Russia from oil."

For China, Auchincloss proposed a more expansive use of United States sanctioning powers, using secondary sanctions and diplomatic pressure on the eastern power to jettison their implicit support for Russia's activities, which would leave Putin fully isolated.

"And then finally, airplanes," Auchincloss added, saying that on a recent call with members of Congress and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, it was made clear that the armaments that are being supplied by NATO allies to the Ukraine must include greater supply of airplanes and surface-to-air weapons in order to combat Russian aircrafts.

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Auchincloss stopped short of supporting the oft-talked about no-fly zone, which would require NATO aircrafts to patrol Ukrainian airspace and shoot down Russian aircrafts, a measure Auchincloss categorized as "an act of war" between the U.S. and Russia.

Shifting the conversation locally, Rep. Auchincloss, a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, talked about the promise of South Coast Rail with the news that Phase 1 is on schedule to be completed in 2023.

"We've got to make sure this development is happening in a way that is organic and respectful to the existing character of the neighborhoods. But in general more transportation infrastructure is a rising tide that lifts all boats," Auchincloss posited. "Now I'm focused on making sure we get to Phase 2. To making sure the Stoughton line, which would cut transportation much further and would be fully electrified, can service the SouthCoast for the next generation."

We also discussed a debate he had on the House floor against an amendment that would jeopardize the SouthCoast's burgeoning offshore wind industry, a recent op-ed he wrote proposing expanding access to mental health services for children, and why he has a sunnier outlook than most pundits and beltway media on the Democrats 2022 election prospects.

You can listen to the full conversation at the 13:30 mark below.

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