U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner isn’t mincing words on soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama’s bizarre sanctions against Russia that include expelling 35 diplomats suspected of being spies and closing two staff retreats.

I welcome President Obama’s eleventh hour effort to address Russia’s growing aggression over the past eight years, however, the sanctions should have been announced and enforced sooner than the final days of his presidency.

From Russia’s dismemberment and occupation of Ukraine to its fecklessness in Syria that’s led to horrific atrocities and indescribable suffering, Russia has a long history of provocative actions that have been met with years of failed U.S. policy instead of expedient strength.

It has appeared as if the administration turned a blind eye to Russian belligerence, including the mistreatment of U.S. diplomats in Moscow and Russia’s attempt to influence our elections, until now.

Just a reminder of how exactly the Russians influenced the election, someone hacked the Democrats’ emails and exposed them for undermining the Sanders campaign, colluding with the national media and providing Hillary debate questions, and it lead to the downfall and disgrace of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

This is a cybersecurity issue, and one that should be addressed by Congress to investigate and keep pace with the evolving threat.
That’s why Gardner has been calling for a permanent select committee on cybersecurity to provide oversight of the government’s security measures and make sure this threat does not go beyond party hacking to actually threaten our national security.

We would urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to heed Gardner’s call. It would certainly be more effective than the sanctions, which by the way Russia announced on Friday it would ignore.