DeLauro Floor Remarks on Providing Additional Support to Ukraine
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 7691, a supplemental to provide more than $40 billion in emergency funding to support the Ukrainian people and defend global democracy in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provides $40.1 billion in much-needed emergency security, economic, and humanitarian aid to support the Ukrainian people and defend global democracy in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
“For nearly three months now, Putin’s greed, growing aggression, and unyielding pursuit of power have led to grievous loss of life and humanitarian devastation. The cruelty against innocent civilians at the hands of Putin and his cronies is devastating. The images of the violence and terror coming from Ukraine should horrify us all.
“Entire cities are being demolished. Ukraine’s democracy is being undermined every single day. Women and girls are being sexually abused by cruel Russian soldiers. Hospitals and universities – which should be safe havens – are being intentionally attacked. War crimes are being carried out every single day as part of a deeply dangerous pattern of extensive shootings, torture, and other violent crimes. Thousands of innocent children and their families have been brutally murdered. And as a result, nearly six million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country, and another six and a half million have been displaced inside war-torn Ukraine.
“Given the magnitude of the terror campaign being waged against the Ukrainian people and Ukrainian democracy, we are morally obligated to ensure the brave Ukrainian fighters and the Ukrainian people have the security and economic aid they need. I am proud to be standing here today in support of a bill that does just that.
“This legislation invests strongly to support Ukraine’s dire efforts to defend itself by keeping weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption. With $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, we will provide the equipment, training, and weapons that the Ukrainian military and national security forces need to continue protecting the Ukrainian people. And at the same time, we are providing additional support for Ukraine and our allies and partners in the region as they continue to build and update their capabilities.
“But we know very well that Russia’s invasion is not only a threat to Ukraine’s physical security but also a threat to the very core of Ukrainian and global democracy. This bill will invest in critical economic assistance to help Ukraine protect its democracy by ensuring the continuity of its democratic government, by countering human trafficking, and by fighting dangerous Russian lies.
“But the impact of this war does not end there. The prolonged invasion has taken an immense toll globally, where people the world over are suffering from growing food insecurity and the rising costs of food. And to address this devastating reality, we are providing more than $5 billion in emergency food assistance and support for agricultural development. As we support the fight against Russian aggression, those struggling to put food on the table – the most vulnerable people around our world – deserve our support.
“And none of the devastation caused would have been possible without help from Putin’s cronies. For that reason, the funding in this bill will continue efforts to hold them accountable for the terror they have caused the people of Ukraine. With funds to seize, retain, and sell the forfeited property of Russia’s criminal kleptocrats who enable the Putin regime’s war crimes, this bill ensures we are one step closer to making them pay the full price for their actions. And in the process, we will be standing firmly with the Ukrainian people, while combatting the exploitation of Ukraine’s vulnerable financial system.
“And for those Ukrainians who manage to find refuge at our borders, this bill provides funds to expand support services that will make sure they feel safe here as they search for peace and for freedom. We are providing funds for trauma care, housing assistance, case management, and English language classes, and for screenings, vaccinations, and ongoing public health surveillance.
“The Ukrainian people are in desperate need of our support, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to threaten peace and democracy around the globe. This bill will protect democracy, limit Russian aggression, and strengthen our own national security, while, most importantly, supporting Ukraine. We have no room to fail and must act swiftly and decisively.
“The Members of this body came together quickly in March to provide critical security and economic support for the people of Ukraine.
“And M. Speaker, while I am saddened and angry that we have to be here again today, Russia’s continued aggression and this vicious invasion require us to act decisively in support of Ukraine, our allies in the region, and the millions of others suffering as a result of this war. We need to protect global democracy, limiting Russian aggression in the longer term, and strengthening our own national security. Failure is not an option.
“For those critical reasons, I urge my colleagues to support this bill and I reserve the balance of my time.”