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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Urgent Need For The Senate To Approve Support For The People Of Ukraine And Fund Our Ongoing COVID Response

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the need for additional funding to support the Ukrainian people against Putin’s aggression and to continue our COVID response. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

In the immediate future, there are two different issues that demand swift and bipartisan action from the U.S. Senate: passing another Ukraine supplemental package, and approving another round of COVID funding.

In the coming days the President is expected to send to Congress his request for action on Ukraine. We’re going to make passing Ukraine funding a priority in the Senate and I expect both sides to work together. As we have seen over the last two months, American support has gone a long way in helping the Ukrainian people resist – and even push back – against Putin’s savage and immoral war. But the fight is far from over.

The Ukrainian people are fighting for survival in a contest that’s very much about democracy versus tyranny.

There should be no question—no question whatsoever—about which side America stands on. We have a moral obligation to give the Ukrainian people the tools they need, for as long as they need them. For this reason I expect both sides to work in the same bipartisan way we did a few months ago to get a Ukrainian supplemental done.

We also need bipartisan cooperation as soon as we can to pass another round of COVID health funding. I urge my Republican colleagues to work with us to pass COVID funding A-S-A-P. It's very risky for the health of the American people for Republicans to play political games at a time when we need more health funding.

Let’s be clear: this is an exceedingly time-sensitive priority. According to the White House, countries like Japan and Vietnam and the Philippines are already ahead of the US in placing orders for treatment, for medications, for vaccines. The US is largely unable to follow suit simply because Senate Republicans have blocked any new rounds of funding required to make these purchases.

The longer Senate Republicans hold out on supporting new COVID funding, the greater the risk of other nations buying out all the available supplies of vaccines and tests and lifesaving therapeutics. And if they run out it will take manufacturers months to make new doses. So again to my Republican colleagues: work with us to pass COVID funding A-S-A-P. Our country can’t afford delays or political games that stand in the way.