Congress worried that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine “missed a good opportunity”

On Tuesday, while President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin were discussing Russia’s military buildup on the Ukrainian border, Congress announced a national defense policy bill, which the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said was a “missed opportunity” to stop Moscow.

A provision in the huge annual legislation will moderately increase U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, but the lawmakers refused to provide Biden with more tools to counter Putin because the Russian leader is defending what U.S. officials have said may invade him. Neighboring countries prepare.

“It would be great to send a bipartisan, bicameral message now,” Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, lamented in a brief interview. “Why don’t we want Putin to understand the consequences he will face if he chooses to invade Ukraine again?”

The reason why the House of Representatives and the Senate did not consider severe penalties for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not because of lack of attempts. The party’s debate on the annual national defense bill has left Congressional negotiators with little time to complete legislation before the end of the year.

The Senate is expected to vote last week on two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, which will impose severe sanctions on Russia-one proposed by Menedez. If Putin enters Ukraine, this will effectively weaken the Russian economy. The other is that his Republican opponent proposed that in the committee, Senator Jim Risch of Idaho will approve the North Stream 2 pipeline from Germany to Russia.

However, some Senate Republicans opposed the final list of amendments to be voted in the Senate, leading Democratic leaders to abandon traditional procedures and rely on the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee to finalize a consensus bill. This means that proposals like Risch and Menendez that have never received a vote in either house remain in the cutting room.

“I don’t know what they have to do to promote NDAA,” Risch said in a brief interview. “It would be great if there was this.”

The New Jersey Democrat said at the Foreign Relations Committee hearing later on Tuesday that Menendez’s plan would implement “the mother of all sanctions… sanctions we have never seen before.”

And Risch’s amendment-included in a package proposed by Senate leaders last week-will give Congress the power to veto the government’s sanctions on Nord Stream 2. Democrats initially blocked voting on Risch’s amendment, prompting Republicans to accuse them of fear of politically uncomfortable voting; Senate leaders eventually included it in the final amendment, but Senator Marco Rubio (Republican) did not allow the vote to continue Advance relevant separate amendments to combat disputes in China.

Menendez said: “Republicans have a lot of amendments they could have, but because they didn’t get all of them, we didn’t get any amendments in the end.” “And tried to make it something that was not in the original bill. Dealing with it is a challenge that we cannot achieve.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.), frustrated by Russia’s ban on entering Russia due to his tough stance against Moscow, said that “we had the opportunity” to impose specific penalties for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Republicans believed that “it has been The position taken is that if they do not succeed in the NDAA, they will stick to everything.”

Shaheen and Senator Rob Portman (Ohio Republican Party) led efforts to increase funding for the Ukrainian Security Assistance Program. The compromised NDAA announced on Tuesday authorized $300 million for the fund, $50 million more than Biden requested, including $75 million in deadly aid.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said that the clause itself sent a strong message about the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s security.

Murphy said: “I think there is no doubt that if Russia continues to invade, it will be subject to devastating sanctions supported by Republicans and Democrats.” How sure is it coming soon.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Biden and Putin Two hours of speaking over a secure video call The United States and its European allies worry that Putin is deploying Russian troops in response to a possible invasion of Ukraine. According to the White House, during the call, Biden warned Putin, “If the military escalates, the United States and our allies will take strong economic and other measures to respond.”

In a press conference after the call, Biden’s national security adviser Jack Sullivan declined to elaborate on the types of economic sanctions Biden detailed to Putin, but said that these sanctions would be greater than those imposed by Russia after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. More severe.

“I will look into your eyes and tell you, as President Biden looked at President Putin today and told him, what we did not do in 2014, we are now ready to do,” Sullivan said.

Republicans think this is empty rhetoric. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that Biden’s decision to abandon sanctions on North Stream 2 made Putin feel bold. Cruz has been blocking Biden’s foreign policy nominee’s attitude towards the government’s pipeline project, which has actually been completed, and the United States believes that this will be a huge financial boon for Putin.

“This catastrophic foreign policy disaster is Joe Biden’s fault,” Cruz said of Russia’s military buildup. “This is a direct consequence of Joe Biden’s surrender to Vladimir Putin on Beixi II.”

Connor O’Brien contributed to this report.

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