Lawmakers of both parties condemn Russia’s invasion

“The people of #Ukraine are tough people who will NEVER accept being ruled by #Putin,” Rubio said. “Men,women,children,the elderly,they are going to fight. And they are going to maim & kill alot of Russians.”

Republicans and Democrats called for swift, “crippling” and “crushing economic sanctions.” Top Republicans on the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees issued a joint statement, saying Russia’s attack had “laid bare for the world to witness the true evil that is Vladimir Putin.”

“We are committed to enacting the strongest possible sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia’s ability to make war, punish its barbarity and relegate the Putin regime to the status of an international pariah. We cannot respond like we did in 2008 or 2014. The world must never forget or forgive this heinous act,” Reps. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said in a statement.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said the U.S. “must cut off Putin and his cronies from the global economy,” while Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the Biden administration must end “Europe’s dependence on Russian oil for good.”

Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) said the repercussions will be “painful,” and that Moscow can only “avoid this reality” by reversing course. And Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said Russia will face a “steep cost for Putin’s reckless ambition, in blood and in economic harm.”

“Putin must be made to rue the day he unleashed this unprovoked violence in the heart of Europe,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said. “We must ensure that his action is remembered as an epic miscalculation.”

Biden has already imposed a raft of sanctions against Russia after Putin declared the independence of the breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine, cutting off its government from Western financing and punishing elites from benefiting from the Kremlin.

Both houses of Congress are on recess this week, and the Senate failed to muster a bipartisan bill that would have imposed crushing sanctions and provided additional lethal military aid to Ukraine. Amid Russia’s offensives in Ukraine this week, though, lawmakers from both parties have called for emergency legislation to boost Ukraine’s defenses and hit back at Putin.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) said late Wednesday that congressional national security committees should return to Washington to finalize a package ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

“Congress has a role in the coming days: We need to finalize a package of sanctions, grease the skids for more military aid to Ukraine and make clear that, despite our differences, reasonable Democrats & Republicans are united in condemning Russia’s unwarranted aggression,” Slotkin said.

Some Republican lawmakers used their statements to take a jab at Biden for not punishing Russia sooner.

“We need sanctions months ago to ward off exactly this type of action,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said. “Now that Putin has taken these steps we must implement strong, primary and secondary sanctions immediately. Our response here is greater than Russia and Ukraine; what we choose to do will also send a message to China on Taiwan.”

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, interviewed on Fox News, claimed none of it would have happened if he were still the president.

“This is something that should never have happened,” Trump said. “This would not have happened during my administration. In fact, some people were saying, ‘Why didn’t this take place during the last four years during our administration?’ And it didn’t for a very good reason and I’ll explain that to you someday.”

Returning to his favorite topic, Trump also said: “It all happened because of a rigged election.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) criticized Biden and Trump, as well as former President Barack Obama, for their policies toward Russia. But he placed the greatest blame on Putin.

“Putin’s Ukraine invasion is the first time in 80 years that a great power has moved to conquer a sovereign nation. It is without justification, without provocation and without honor,” he said.

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