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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Pass Bipartisan Emergency Aid Package For Ukraine In Omnibus Funding Legislation

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the importance of supporting Ukraine with humanitarian and security aid. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Let me start with some great news: when we vote later today all of us will be able to say these four wonderful words: Senator Luján, welcome back!

He is not on the floor right now, but Ben Ray: it was great to see you back here in the Capitol last week, it’s great to see you today. We have missed you. We’re thrilled to have you back on the job. We admire your strength and your courage and your fortitude, your quiet strength.

Now, over the weekend members from both the House and Senate met virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and we re-emphasized Congress’s strong and unwavering commitment to providing robust and ample assistance to his country in this time of war.

I told the Ukrainian President he was an inspiration to Americans, and I assured him that his pleas for help will not go unanswered.

In particular, President Zelenskyy made a desperate plea for getting Eastern European countries to provide Russian-made planes to Ukraine. I strongly support the President’s request, and yesterday I called on the Administration to explore all feasible options to getting these fighter aircraft to Ukraine.

These planes are very much needed: Ukrainian forces are familiar with them and they will very much help in countering the Russians, especially as Putin massacres – massacres – civilians in Ukraine.  

Democrats and Republicans broadly agree that this is a necessary step against Russia’s illegal invasion, and today I reiterate my call for the Administration to explore how to ensure the Ukrainians have the capabilities they need.

I also spoke with the Administration yesterday and was told they are looking closely at imposing a ban on Russian oil coming here.

Meanwhile, there are other steps Congress can take in the coming days to support the Ukrainian people.

Above all we must finalize a more-than-$12 billion emergency aid package to be included in the upcoming omnibus spending bill.

This emergency aid will provide both humanitarian and military assistance for Ukraine: funding for refugees, medical supplies, emergency food supplies, as well as funding to support weapons transfers into Ukraine, and help for our Eastern Flank NATO allies.

The clearest signal Congress can send to Vladimir Putin this week is passing a bipartisan aid package, leaving no doubt that the democratic nations of the world stand with Ukraine and against Putin’s deeply immoral and bloody war.

And again – let me say it again: the quickest way to secure an emergency aid package for Ukraine is through the omnibus, and I believe both sides are close –  very close – to arriving at an agreement.