WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today introduced legislation (H.Res.999) reaffirming Speaker Ryan’s statement that repudiated President Trump’s disastrous summit with President Putin. House Republicans twice blocked passage of this measure, then voted unanimously against considering it.
A transcript of Rep. Engel’s floor statement on the measure follows (click here for video):
Rep. Engel: I want to thank my friend from Massachusetts for yielding to me, and I want to strongly identify with his remarks.
Mr. Speaker, I led the Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats last week urging President Trump to cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin because I knew that this was going to turn out badly. But frankly, I didn't know how bad it would be. Turns out, President Trump embarrassed himself and disgraced our nation.
Standing on foreign soil, the President of the United States questioned America’s intelligence community; he attacked America’s law enforcement with bizarre conspiracy theories; he lobbed petty political insults, and he did it all while standing next to America’s chief rival, Vladimir Putin.
When faced head-on with the question—“who do you believe”—President Trump sided with Putin and affirmed Putin’s brazen lies. This is the tyrant who directed attacks on America's democracy in an effort to elect Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. And as Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, those attacks are ongoing. As we all know, Putin is a ruthless leader who seeks to tear down our alliances, undermine western unity, and destroy democracy. With the eyes of the world on them, it's plain that the President of the United States is now Putin’s willing accomplice—Putin’s poodle.
It’s outrageous. It’s disgusting. It’s dangerous. And it’s been met with near universal condemnation. Here's what Speaker Ryan said just yesterday, and I agree with the Speaker. And I quote him:
There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. The President needs to understand that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals, and that Russia must be held accountable.
That’s what our Republican Speaker said. And I agree with him.
I’ve introduced this resolution so that the entire House can go on record agreeing with the Speaker and affirming that we stand with the Speaker. I deeply regret that a member of the Speaker’s own party just blocked the House from speaking with one voice and taking up this resolution by unanimous consent.
We must reject the President’s capitulation to Putin. We must stand up for American leadership on the global stage. And we must demand that this Administration treat Russia like the enemy it is.
How can you treat Putin better than American intelligence, than American intelligence—U.S. intelligence? It just boggles my mind.
So Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent for the immediate consideration for the Resolution I have just introduced which is H. Res. 999.
Speaker pro tempore: The Chair would advise that all time has been yielded for the purposes of debate only. Does the gentleman from Oklahoma yield for purposes of this unanimous consent request?
Rep. Cole: Mr. Speaker I am reiterating my earlier announcement that all time yielded for the purposes of debate only, and I will not yield for any other purpose.
Speaker pro tempore: The gentleman from Oklahoma does not yield. Therefore, the unanimous consent request cannot be entertained.
Rep. Engel: Mr. Speaker, I urge members to defeat the previous question, and I yield back.
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