The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages the retirement funds of six million members of the U.S. military and the federal civilian workforce through a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), took action to confirm it contained no Russian investments in response to a bill proposed by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) mandating TSP divest from “Putin’s Russia.”

“I’m glad to have secured confirmation that the retirement funds for members of our military and federal workforce are not being invested in Putin’s Russia. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is not a force for good in the world, and we must continue to take action to stop Putin from continuing his barbaric war against Ukraine,” the congressman and Trump-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate told Breitbart News exclusively on Friday following a Federal News Network report.

Budd first introduced the  ‘‘Terminating Securities from Putin Act of 2022’’ or the ‘‘TSP Act of 2022’’ to the House on March 17. The bill would order that no fund established or overseen by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (the board in charge of the TSP) “may include an investment in any security of an entity based in the Russian Federation.”

No later than 30 days after the bill’s passing, the board would be required to review whether any funds in the TSP are invested in Russia, divest those sums, and then reinvest them in a way that does not violate the law, according to the bill’s text. The legislation would also prohibit the investment of TSP funds in entities based in Russia through the TSP mutual fund window.

The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan which offers federal employees similar savings and tax benefits as many private companies offer employees through 401(k) plans.

The board in 2017 planned to change the International Stock Index Investment Fund (I-Fund) to the the MSCI ACWI ex USA Investment Market Index, which includes Russian investments, according to Budd’s office. Former President Donald Trump ultimately postponed the change, but there is currently no federal prohibition to ensure TSP stays divested from Russia. 

Budd’s confirmation comes soon after his establishment-backed U.S. Senate competitor, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), accused him in a political attack advertisement of  being “friendly toward Russia.” At the time, Budd’s office refuted the claim, saying “serious times require strength, not the empty soundbites preferred by career politicians like Biden and McCrory…”

Budd has sponsored multiple pieces of legislation in the last month to get tough on Russia, including the “Prohibition on Imports of Russian Oil Act,” the “Expediting Natural Gas Exports to Allies Act,” and others.

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