Tag Archives: US House

US House Passes Resolution To Arm Ukraine As Part Of Strategy To ‘Expose’ Putin

The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution on Monday to send military aid to Ukraine. In the resolution, US lawmakers stated that while providing lethal aid to Ukraine would help the country defend itself, it would also serve as part of a long-term strategy to “expose and challenge” Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The bill, which was titled, “Calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” passed 348-48.

The resolution stated that the Russian Federation under Putin has “engaged in relentless political, economic, and military aggression to subvert the independence and violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” which includes the “illegal and forcible occupation of Crimea by Russian military and security forces.”

According to the resolution, Russian military and security forces have been infiltrated and continue to provide direct combat support to separatists in Ukraine, which has resulted in “over 6,000 dead, 15,000 wounded, and more than a million displaced persons.”

Failure to stop this aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, especially its unprovoked and armed intervention in a sovereign country, illegal and forcible occupation of its territory, and unilateral efforts to redraw the internationally-recognized borders of Ukraine undermines the foundation of the international order that was established and has been defended at great cost by the United States and its allies in the aftermath of World War II.

The resolution went on to claim that Russian aggression against Ukraine is the “most visible and recent manifestation of a revisionist Kremlin strategy to redraw international borders and impose its will on its neighbors, including NATO allies.

Quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko when he addressed a Joint Meeting of Congress in Sept. 2014, the resolution stated that although the US has provided Ukraine with a great deal of non-lethal assistance, “one cannot win a war with blankets.”

The resolution also quoted the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who said that the US should “absolutely consider providing lethal aid” to Ukraine and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who said during his confirmation hearing that he is “very much inclined” to providing Ukraine with lethal aid.

The resolution stated that the US and its allies should “provide assistance to support energy diversification and efficiency initiatives in Ukraine to lessen its vulnerability to coercion by the Russian Federation.”

Whereas the United States and its allies need a long-term strategy to expose and challenge Vladimir Putin’s corruption and repression at home and his aggression abroad,” concluded the resolution.

House Votes To Repeal Obamacare, Pressing For Alternative Legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act by approving a bill that would dismantle the current law and move forward to provide an alternative plan.

The bill, H.R. 596, was introduced in the House on January 28th and passed 239-186 on Tuesday; there was no support from House Democrats and three Republicans voted in opposition to the bill. CNN reported that GOP leaders believe passage of H.R. 596 is “the beginning of their effort to show they have a better plan,” although no alternative has been provided yet.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), who voted “no” on Tuesday, said that he doesn’t support Obamacare but a “free-market alternative” must be ready to replace the current law and H.R.596 does not have one. “Had Congress voted for the full repeal of ObamaCare two years ago, families and small businesses would have been able to adjust to the change. Now, however, more than 60,000 Mainers have invested their time and energy in choosing health care plans that work for their families,” Poliquin said in a statement.

“If Congress fully repeals ObamaCare, it must be fully prepared to replace it with a free-market alternative that requires health care plans to cover pre-existing conditions and be portable for workers changing jobs. Any replacement law must also allow moms and dads to purchase health insurance plans that they can afford, and to choose the doctors and hospitals that best fit their family health care needs,” Poliquin said.

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) also voted “no” and made similar remarks to those of Poliquin, saying in his own statement that he voted against the bill “because we failed to include replacement legislation.”

“With a majority in Congress, I would like to see the GOP come forward with market-based solutions,” Katko said. “I am disappointed that the bill taken up by Congress today did not provide a real solution to the rising costs of healthcare, but I will continue to fight for comprehensive, bipartisan healthcare reform for Central New York in Congress,” Katko said.

According to Politico, the bill would “delay repeal for six months to give Republicans an opportunity to offer an alternative package.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) told CNN that “I have urged leadership to put forth a plan as soon as possible.”

The House has voted dozens of times to repeal or obstruct the Affordable Care Act; Republicans claim H.R. 596 is their 67th attempt at a form of repeal, while Democrats reported 56 past attempts. This bill is not expected to pass the Senate, and the President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any repeal of the law. “I don’t know if it’s the 55th or the 60th time that [the House is] taking this vote, but I’ve asked this question before: why is it this would be at the top of their agenda?” Obama said.

“We have the Republicans continuing to bay at the moon. They’re baying at the moon,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said regarding the vote. “Instead of proposing any- which we’d be welcome to hear- good suggestions they may have to improve the Affordable Care Act, they’re baying at the moon.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had introduced a separate bill on Monday to “repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 entirely.”