4:09 PM EDT

Eliot Engel, D-NY 16th

Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I rise in strong support of H.R. 4152.

Let me first open by commending our chair once again, Congressman Royce, for making such a statesmanlike statement. I agree with everything he said in that our bipartisan work in support of Ukraine and our bipartisan work on the entire Foreign Affairs Committee has been a treasure for both sides of the aisle and, certainly, for me as ranking member and for Mr. Royce as chair. I thank him again for working with us in such a bipartisan fashion.

Last Thursday, the House passed H.R. 4278, the Ukraine Support Act, by the overwhelming margin of 399-19. Think about what that means. We have said that Congress can't agree on anything, and it has been said that Congress can't agree on anything, that we can't work together and that nothing gets done. This proves it wrong, as 399-19 is pretty bipartisan and is a very strong showing to the world and to our country as well that we get together when things are important. What is happening in Ukraine

is very, very important.

At that time, I made an extended statement about how important it is for the United States to stand with the people of Ukraine and to make it clear to Putin and his cronies that there will be serious consequences for Russia's aggression. With Russian forces massing on Ukraine's borders, tension and fear are spreading throughout the region, and our legislation sends a clear signal that Congress will not stand for further violations.

Today, we consider the Senate version of our Ukraine legislation. This bill originated in the House as a measure to provide loan guarantees to Ukraine, and it passed this body on March 6 by a vote of 385-23, again another overwhelming bipartisan majority. The Senate then took up this legislation, stripped out our text, inserted the Ukraine bill, authored by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Corker, and sent it back to the House.

Like the House bill, this legislation authorizes assistance to Ukraine as it attempts to right its struggling economy, increase energy security, strengthen civil society, and prepare for democratic elections this spring. It supports enhanced security cooperation with Ukraine and with other countries in the region, and it provides assistance to help Ukraine recover stolen assets. It also imposes sanctions on those responsible for violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, for looting

Ukraine's economy, and for violating human rights in Ukraine.

While the two bills are very similar, I wish that a number of provisions in the House legislation had been

included in the Senate bill. For example, our bill would provide immediate assistance to Ukraine as it attempts to right its struggling economy, increase energy security, strengthen civil society and the rule of law, and prepare for democratic elections this spring, while the Senate bill does not authorize assistance until the next fiscal year, which doesn't begin until October 1. The House bill includes an important provision supporting efforts to professionalize Ukraine's law enforcement, and

the House bill includes language that would require the extra scrutiny of Russian banks that may be involved in nefarious activities in Ukraine or in other parts of the world.

But in the interest of time, I support the House passage of this measure so we can get it to the President for his signature as soon as possible. The most important thing here is that both the House and Senate are united in sending a strong, bipartisan signal of support to the people of Ukraine and in providing needed assistance at a critical moment. So I urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:09 PM EDT

Eliot Engel, D-NY 16th

Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I rise in strong support of H.R. 4152.

Let me first open by commending our chair once again, Congressman Royce, for making such a statesmanlike statement. I agree with everything he said in that our bipartisan work in support of Ukraine and our bipartisan work on the entire Foreign Affairs Committee has been a treasure for both sides of the aisle and, certainly, for me as ranking member and for Mr. Royce as chair. I thank him again for working with us in such a bipartisan fashion.

Last Thursday, the House passed H.R. 4278, the Ukraine Support Act, by the overwhelming margin of 399-19. Think about what that means. We have said that Congress can't agree on anything, and it has been said that Congress can't agree on anything, that we can't work together and that nothing gets done. This proves it wrong, as 399-19 is pretty bipartisan and is a very strong showing to the world and to our country as well that we get together when things are important. What is happening in Ukraine

is very, very important.

At that time, I made an extended statement about how important it is for the United States to stand with the people of Ukraine and to make it clear to Putin and his cronies that there will be serious consequences for Russia's aggression. With Russian forces massing on Ukraine's borders, tension and fear are spreading throughout the region, and our legislation sends a clear signal that Congress will not stand for further violations.

Today, we consider the Senate version of our Ukraine legislation. This bill originated in the House as a measure to provide loan guarantees to Ukraine, and it passed this body on March 6 by a vote of 385-23, again another overwhelming bipartisan majority. The Senate then took up this legislation, stripped out our text, inserted the Ukraine bill, authored by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Corker, and sent it back to the House.

Like the House bill, this legislation authorizes assistance to Ukraine as it attempts to right its struggling economy, increase energy security, strengthen civil society, and prepare for democratic elections this spring. It supports enhanced security cooperation with Ukraine and with other countries in the region, and it provides assistance to help Ukraine recover stolen assets. It also imposes sanctions on those responsible for violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, for looting

Ukraine's economy, and for violating human rights in Ukraine.

While the two bills are very similar, I wish that a number of provisions in the House legislation had been

included in the Senate bill. For example, our bill would provide immediate assistance to Ukraine as it attempts to right its struggling economy, increase energy security, strengthen civil society and the rule of law, and prepare for democratic elections this spring, while the Senate bill does not authorize assistance until the next fiscal year, which doesn't begin until October 1. The House bill includes an important provision supporting efforts to professionalize Ukraine's law enforcement, and

the House bill includes language that would require the extra scrutiny of Russian banks that may be involved in nefarious activities in Ukraine or in other parts of the world.

But in the interest of time, I support the House passage of this measure so we can get it to the President for his signature as soon as possible. The most important thing here is that both the House and Senate are united in sending a strong, bipartisan signal of support to the people of Ukraine and in providing needed assistance at a critical moment. So I urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

4:13 PM EDT

Ed Royce, R-CA 39th

Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Rogers), the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations and the author of the original House-passed version of this bill, H.R. 4152.

4:14 PM EDT

Hal Rogers, R-KY 5th

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. I thank the chairman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to again rise in support of this bill, H.R. 4152, a bill that I did introduce and that the House originally passed almost a month ago to provide loan guarantees for Ukraine. [Page: H2756]

The bill has now come back to us from the Senate, as has been said, with additional authorizations for security and democracy assistance. It also sends, I think, a very clear message that the United States will not tolerate the Russian incursion into Ukraine, human rights abuses, or corruption by imposing sanctions, visa bans, and asset freezes.

[Time: 16:15]

As we all know, Ukraine is facing an extraordinarily difficult economic situation. The International Monetary Fund has now said they will step in with a financing package, but the United States and our partners must also help during this time of need.

By giving the administration the ability to provide loan guarantees from funds already appropriated, this bill will provide some stability for Ukraine throughout this tumultuous time.

This is a critical bill at an important moment. The Congress must stand with the government of Ukraine. We must get this bill passed and to the President's desk as soon as possible. We have already waited too long while other issues, such as the IMF, got unnecessarily entangled with aid and sanctions proposals.

Mr. Speaker, we must pass this bill today and I hope overwhelmingly. I urge a ``yes'' vote.

4:18 PM EDT

Ed Royce, R-CA 39th

Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

This bill does come at a critical time.

In closing, I will just say that U.S. officials are pressing President Putin to respect Ukrainian sovereignty, but this diplomacy will only have a chance if it is backed up by a combination of the threat of tough sanctions that are being implemented to their fullest and by the message of more energy independence for Ukraine.

I am very pleased to have worked closely with Ranking Member Engel and many other Members on this bipartisan legislation. It represents, as Mr. Engel indicated, what Congress can accomplish on the floor of this House in terms of policy when we unite to advance U.S. interests.

By our action here today, we will send a clear message of American resolve. That message will be heard in Kiev, it will be heard in Moscow, and it is going to be heard around the globe.

I urge all Members to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

4:18 PM EDT

Ed Royce, R-CA 39th

Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

This bill does come at a critical time.

In closing, I will just say that U.S. officials are pressing President Putin to respect Ukrainian sovereignty, but this diplomacy will only have a chance if it is backed up by a combination of the threat of tough sanctions that are being implemented to their fullest and by the message of more energy independence for Ukraine.

I am very pleased to have worked closely with Ranking Member Engel and many other Members on this bipartisan legislation. It represents, as Mr. Engel indicated, what Congress can accomplish on the floor of this House in terms of policy when we unite to advance U.S. interests.

By our action here today, we will send a clear message of American resolve. That message will be heard in Kiev, it will be heard in Moscow, and it is going to be heard around the globe.

I urge all Members to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.