On March 28, 2014 Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives regarding H.R. 4278 the Ukraine Support Act:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4278, the Ukraine Support Act.
- This bill will send an important signal to the Ukrainian people that the United States of America will stand by them as they resist Russia’s aggression. This is not just a symbolic gesture on our part. In addition to the condemnation of Russia’s actions through targeted sanctions, this vital legislation provides assistance to stabilize Ukraine’s economy and to support important anti-corruption initiatives.
- As a great nation of over 45 million people and a breadbasket for Europe and the world, Ukraine has the potential to be a true economic powerhouse. But decades of mismanagement and corruption at the highest levels have stifled Ukraine’s economic growth and military readiness.
- This weakness has allowed Russia to bully its way into Ukraine’s internal affairs–culminating in the recent invasion and annexation of Crimea. Although the world has condemning this illegal land grab, Russian actions continue to threaten Ukraine’s prosperity and territorial integrity.
- Our support is vital to ensuring that Ukraine has the ability to defend its sovereignty and strengthen its democracy in order to resist external coercion. By extending a hand to-Ukraine, we give them the opportunity to shake off Russia’s influence once and for all. The people of Ukraine, as well as Ukrainian Americans in New Jersey and around the nation, want the United States to hold true to our values by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine in her time of great need.
- I am grateful that we can come together on a bipartisan basis to quickly bring forward this much-needed legislation. It is high time that we solidified our commitment to Ukraine. Much more remains to be done, but this bill is a step in the right direction. I urge my colleagues to support it.
Source: Congressional Record