Washington, DC – Today, the House voted to pass H.Res 956, Supporting the People of Ukraine, introduced by Representatives Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who is Ukrainian-born.
Among other provisions, H.Res 956:
Sheds light on the horrific acts committed by the Putin regime and Russian military in Ukraine
Demands an immediate ceasefire and full withdrawal of Russian forces from sovereign Ukrainian territory
Reaffirms Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea and Donbas
Backs additional coordinated sanctions to hold Putin and Russia accountable
Backs additional security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and our allies in the region
Reaffirms our NATO Article 5 commitments
Highlights the historic, multilateral coordination by the United States and our allies led by the Biden Administration
States that the House will never recognize any illegitimate government that Putin hopes to install in Ukraine and that it is up to the Ukrainian people alone to choose their own leaders and future
The full text of the H.Res 956 can be found here.
While managing the House floor debate ahead of the vote, Chair Meeks delivered the following remarks:
“M. Speaker, I rise today in support of my Resolution, which I introduced with Representative Spartz to demonstrate bipartisan congressional support for the Ukrainian people.
“Today, we are witnessing the most devastating escalation of violence on the European continent in decades. Putin has launched an unjustifiable, senseless war on a peaceful, sovereign Ukraine. We are already seeing thousands of casualties – both Ukrainians and Russians – and hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to the European Union. As we speak, Putin’s army is encircling Ukrainian cities -- including the capital Kyiv. His forces are bombing indiscriminately, ruthlessly killing civilians and destroying critical infrastructure. In his despicable and utterly false claims to ‘De-Nazify’ Ukraine, he bombed the memorial at Babyn Yar – where just weeks ago, Representative Spartz and I stood with other Members – at the site where tens of thousands were killed in massacres during the Holocaust. The streets we walked just weeks ago are now a battlefield, its citizens now soldiers.
“Let us be clear. This is Putin’s war. Ukraine, the United States, and our allies have all actively engaged in a historic diplomatic push since before Russia marched their troops into sovereign Ukrainian territory. Nevertheless, Putin chose the path of an unprovoked war instead. It is a peaceful Ukraine that is pleading for a ceasefire so that diplomacy and sanity can triumph over bloodshed and madness.
“Just this morning the UN General Assembly held an emergency session that voted overwhelmingly against Russia’s aggression. This vote reaffirms the values that we stand for and unequivocally demonstrates that the world stands with Ukraine.
“In this dark time, the United States has helped usher unprecedented amounts of assistance from the United States, Europe, our allies and partners around the world, from North America to the Indo-Pacific, to aid Ukraine in defense of its nation. I believe we must sustain that assistance for as long as Ukrainians fight for a democratic future, free from Russian oppression. The defensive security assistance we have provided and continue to provide Ukraine to help fend off its autocratic invader is critical. Also, it is of utmost importance that we continue to surge humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the countries in the region accepting the growing influx of refugees. As of yesterday, nearly 700,000 had left their homes, their country, to seek safety, unsure of whether they’ll ever again see their homes again. Estimates project that number will quickly reach into the millions, as well as those who are displaced but remain in Ukraine. Our allies in Europe have acted admirably to accept those fleeing the destruction; we must do our part to help as well.
“Amidst all the bloodshed, we are seeing astounding courage displayed by President Zelensky, the Ukrainian government, and, above all, the Ukrainian people. We are also seeing the unity of the transatlantic alliance – more unified than ever in the face of Putin’s war. The people of Ukraine must continue to hear a message of loud and clear support from the United States Congress – that we see their suffering, that we stand with them in their fight against an authoritarian invader, and that we will continue to usher as much support to their cause as the United States can muster.
“M. Speaker, this Resolution outlines that plan and sheds an indisputable light on the atrocities the Putin regime and the Russian military are committing. It demands an immediate ceasefire and full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, backs additional coordinated economic measures to hold Putin accountable, reaffirms our NATO Article 5 commitments, reaffirms Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea and Donbas. It highlights the unprecedented global multilateral efforts the Biden Administration has helped usher. It states our commitment in the U.S. Congress to supporting the Ukrainian people throughout this terrifying ordeal and delivers perhaps the most important message a Resolution can deliver right now: that the House will never recognize any illegitimate government that Putin hopes to install in Ukraine. It is up to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian people alone to choose their political leadership and their future.
“So I support this Resolution, and offer my sincerest thanks to Representative Spartz, Ranking Member McCaul, and Democratic and Republican Leadership for working with me to send a strong, unified message of support to the people of Ukraine. I encourage all of my colleagues to join me in support. With that, I RESERVE the balance of my time.”