Ranking Member DeLauro Floor Remarks on the Ukraine Security Assistance and Oversight Supplemental Appropriations Act

2023-09-28 18:19

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in regards to H.R. 5692, the Ukraine Security Assistance and Oversight Supplemental Appropriations Act:

Mr. Speaker, I have witnessed a lot of surprising and at times confounding things in my time in the House of Representatives. Especially in this 118th Congress. But I do not recall a time that this body, with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, voted to appropriate funds that were then stripped from a bill in the darkness of night.

339 members of the House of Representatives – including a majority of the majority – voted yesterday to include support for Ukraine in the Defense Appropriations bill. 93 voted against it. Then Republicans stripped Ukraine funding from the Defense bill to placate an extreme minority over the will of the majority, and prioritize maintaining the gavel over responsible governing. 

Russian tyranny and aggression threaten more than just Ukraine’s borders. We learned in Georgia, and we learned in Crimea – if you stand by while Russia takes an inch, they will take a mile. Vladimir Putin must be held to account for upending Europe’s security and peacetime for a pointless and bloody war which has disrupted energy markets and triggered food insecurity around the world. 

We must be clear about what this means. This is appeasement like the world experienced in 1938, and which led to a cascading murderous result. 

Ukraine’s fight for democracy and sovereignty requires decisive action and absolute support from the free world. We must act like the leaders of the free world. We must not abandon our position as the world’s beacon of democratic values. We must not surrender our global influence to Russia, China, or any group that threatens democracies. 

Members of this body have come together again and again to reaffirm our commitment to helping Ukraine defend itself against this vicious invasion. We did so again yesterday. Regardless of which votes the majority is afraid of taking, Democrats will not be afraid of supporting our allies. 

Funds for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative should remain in the base bill – that’s where they have been since 2015. Republicans now have an $826 billion Defense bill that does not include any assistance for Ukraine, the most urgent security crisis in the world.

Even if House Republicans insist on upending our process, we cannot abandon Ukraine. I urge the Speaker of the House to lead those who actually wish to govern, not those who seek to appease Putin. We need to support Ukraine.

I yield back.


118th Congress