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Lawmakers respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

As conflict unfolds in Eastern Europe, the Washington News Bureau is speaking to lawmakers about what comes next.
Russian strikes hit Kyiv the morning of Feb. 24.
Russian strikes hit Kyiv the morning of Feb. 24.(Ukrainian President's Office via MGN)
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 5:33 PM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Just before dawn, explosions sounded throughout Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. News spread around the world, via social media and television, that Russia has launched an attack on the sovereign nation. In the United States, President Biden and members of Congress are continuing to respond as the conflict unfolds thousands of miles away.

President Biden said he is continuing to push for economic sanctions, calling these new moves “profound.” He moved to freeze several Russian banks and refused to rule out sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said the administration is working to make sure Americans are not impacted by rising gas prices that could come from this conflict, but emphasized the importance of the United States’ powerful response to Russia.

“America stands up to bullies, we stand up for freedom,” President Biden said in his address to the nation Thursday. “This is who we are.”

Members of Congress are also speaking out, with many echoing the president’s message that America’s response is crucial to deter further action from Russia. The Washington News Bureau is speaking to lawmakers from across the country about the conflict, and how they think the United States should move forward to condemn Russia’s actions.

President Biden is receiving support from his party members on the sanctions he has imposed. Several Democrats said while they are unsure what future action will need to be taken to deter Russia, they are committed to using America’s resources to protect and support NATO allies.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said, “I imagine part of the administration’s plan to send more U.S. forces to Europe is to ensure that this does not cross over into Poland or Baltic countries, and we don’t want to see that.”

A statement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reads, “President Biden has made clear throughout Russia’s escalation that we will continue to impose costs on Russia that will leave it weakened in every way.”

While Republicans are also standing behind the president’s response, several are expressing that they wish he had responded to the threat sooner, and with more reinforcements to NATO allies and Ukraine.

A statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reads, “Sadly, deterrence after the fact is not deterrence at all. The President should have exercised his extensive authorities to impose certain tough sanctions early enough to actually deter invasion and weaken Russia.”

Watch more above to hear what other members of Congress have to say about the attacks in Ukraine.

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