Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to work on a bipartisan basis and with the Biden Administration to pass a strong aid package to support the people of Ukraine in the face of continued aggression from Vladimir Putin. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
With each new day of war in Ukraine, the brutality and sheer evil of Vladimir Putin’s aggression against the Ukrainian people becomes more apparent. Failing at securing the country with quick strikes, Russian forces are evidently starting to engage in siege tactics. Over the past twelve hours, the city of Kharkiv has endured especially heavy fire. Civilian casualties, tragically, are mounting.
Today, every single member of the Senate must say once again—without equivocation—that the United States stands behind the Ukrainian people, and behind all people in all nations who oppose the aggressions of despotism.
In the weeks to come, the Senate must work on a bipartisan basis—and in lockstep with the Biden Administration—to pass a strong aid package providing both humanitarian aid and security assistance to Ukraine.
The strongest signal we can send to Vladimir Putin right now is that the United States stands together – together – with the people of Ukraine. Twenty years ago, when our own democracy was attacked right here on our own soil, Americans banded together—Democrat and Republican—to defend our nation and our democracy.
Today, as democracy faces its greatest crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War, we must likewise band together in support of our friends in Ukraine. So far, the President has done an excellent job uniting our nation and our allies against Putin. This was not an easy job. The President had to show patience from some who had urged him to do things that would have torn the relationship apart, the European-American relationship.
Now, because of the President's strong leadership, the Russian president finds himself more isolated and a greater pariah than at any other moment in his time in power. When the full weight of international sanctions takes effect, the consequences will be catastrophic for Putin and the Russian economy.
On the flip side, divisions within the United States or amongst our allies will only strengthen Vladimir Putin, and strengthen his resolve that he can win this war. And we must resist him and his deeply cynical efforts however necessary. We must be united in this moment, and so far our unity has precisely been our greatest asset in resisting Putin’s aggression: from unity amongst the American people, in solidarity with Ukraine, to America’s unity with our European allies.
So I hope our Republican colleagues in this chamber will work with us and the administration to stay unified, with a strong aid package.
We do not know how this crisis will evolve, but one thing that will not change is the need to maintain a united front so long as Vladimir Putin continues down his path of violence.
For that reason the Senate will continue working in the weeks to come on a strong aid package that will erase any doubt where our allegiance lies.