On March 25, 2014 Senator Harry Reid asked for and was granted permission to address the United States Senate for a few minutes regarding bipartisan legislation on Ukraine:
“Mr. President, last night the Senate took the first steps in supporting the people of Ukraine, sending a clear message to Russia. I am pleased the Senate voted overwhelmingly in a bipartisan fashion to consider this bipartisan bill that was reported to the Senate floor. The measure includes a number of provisions: a loan guarantee, sanctions, and security assistance. This certainly is a step in the right direction. It is not everything, but I certainly applaud the efforts of the Members from both sides of the aisle who have labored diligently to get us this far.
I hope the bipartisan support will continue so we can finish the bill this week and provide the people of Ukraine with the critical support they need while imposing strong sanctions against those in Russia and Ukraine who created this crisis. There is no reason why we can’t pass the bill today.
According to all reports, the situation regarding Ukraine is getting worse, not better. Russian troops are seizing facilities in the Crimea. All they have to do is make a phone call. They didn’t need to have all the brute force, knocking down doors and injuring people in the process. They have done this throughout Crimea. The Government of Russia looks foolish. The world community understands that. They are levying foolish retaliatory sanctions, mocking the efforts of the international community to bring about a peaceful and fair resolution to the illegal invasion and the annexation of Crimea.
Yesterday President Obama and other European leaders meeting in The Hague formed a strong, united front in denouncing Russia’s unlawful actions against the people of Ukraine. Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom took further action by suspending Russia from the G8–as of today it is the G7–and canceling the planned summit in Sochi this summer.
I mentioned those seven countries, but over in Europe yesterday, the President was there with some 42 other nations, all of them looking with an eye toward what Russia had done that was totally contrary to international law. By excluding Russia from the G8, President Obama and our allies have sent the message loudly and clearly that bullying behavior and rhetoric will not go unchallenged. I applaud the efforts of our allies to take a stand against Russia’s aggression and welcome their further commitment to hold accountable President Putin and his cronies–and they really are his cronies. If there were ever a thugocracy, this is it. This is a government that is corrupt, and they need to be held accountable for violating international law. This cannot go unnoticed and unretaliated against.
As for action here in the Senate, I look forward to stabilizing Ukraine and imposing new sanctions against Russia by passing the bill that is before us. We should do that today. One way or the other, we need to get it done as quickly as possible.
I suggest the absence of a quorum”, said Senator Harry Reid.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov