America Along With Our Allies Must Respond With Strength

Posted by Nick Marcelli on

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the Ukraine Support Act:

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the Chairman from California. Mr. Speaker, today I rise today in strong support of the Ukraine Support Act.

"Vladimir Putin's recent military invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea stand in direct violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and international law. His aggression may only continue unless we in America along with our allies respond with strength.

"Newspaper reports indicate Putin may not be content with swallowing Crimea whole, and that he is now amassing troops on the border with Eastern Ukraine, and may soon have his eyes on Moldova.

"The eyes of the world are on the United States and our EU and NATO partners. Adversaries and allies around the world are watching to see how we respond to this outrageous provocation. To see whether we mean it when we say Putin's actions are unacceptable.

"It is vitally important that the United States, in conjunction with our EU and NATO allies, send an unmistakable signal that this aggression will not be tolerated. Together we must be prepared to exact a significant cost for Russia's behavior, and to ensure that Mr. Putin’s actions will be met with the firmest of resolves.

"This bill is a first step towards supporting the Ukrainians and our Central and Eastern European partners, and to imposing truly significant costs on Moscow. But it is only a first step.

"We must fundamentally reassess our assumptions about Russia, and acknowledge that Putin himself scrapped the Administration's 'reset' policy a long time ago. We need a new strategy that understands Putin for who he is, not who we wish him to be.

"We need a new grand strategy. We need a foreign policy that stands up for our allies and stands up to our adversaries. We need to prioritize defense in our budget so that we maintain a military that can respond promptly to contingencies around the world and that instills fear in our enemies while reassuring our allies.

"I hope this bill – modest though it may be – will prove to be the first step on a long march to restoring America’s defenses and alliances. Now more than ever, the threats to the very fabric of the international system require an America that leads.

"I want to thank very much the gentleman from California, Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and the rest of the Committee on Foreign Affairs for their bipartisan work, for all efforts on this issue, and I urge my colleagues in the House to support our friends in Ukraine by passing this bill."

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