WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, Environment, and Cyber, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), joined House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX), House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Mike Turner (R-OH), and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to introduce the Guaranteeing Ukrainian Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense (GUARD) Act of 2022. This bill will ensure Ukraine is provided with the military and diplomatic support it needs in the face of Russia’s destabilizing military buildup in and around its borders. The legislation would also hold Vladimir Putin accountable for his aggression by immediately sanctioning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to stop it from ever becoming operational.
“As Russia has continued to undermine peace and stability in Europe, it has become increasingly evident that current de-escalation tactics are not sufficient. Ukraine’s sovereignty and prosperity serve the interest of the United States and our Eastern European allies, and we must ensure the safety and security of our partner in the face of persistent and unjustified Russian aggression and energy resource manipulation. This legislation sends a clear message that the United States will not bend to the demands of Putin and his corrupt regime,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick.
“Diplomacy has little chance of success unless approached from a position of strength – yet the Biden Administration has been much too slow in sending additional military assistance to Ukraine and has capitulated on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” said Rep. McCaul. “This legislation firmly rejects this pattern of weakness that has dangerously emboldened Putin by immediately providing Ukraine with the support it needs to ensure the Kremlin understands a further invasion of Ukraine would come at a terrible cost. Vladimir Putin must take note that Congress will not stand for the reconstitution of Russia’s sphere of influence nor the abandonment of Ukraine and our other NATO allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe.”
“For months, I’ve been pleading with the Biden administration to rapidly accelerate the flow of lethal aid to Ukraine. In response, the White House has ignored my requests and continued to stare at the situation in the vain hope it won’t get worse. This is the definition of paralysis-by-analysis and will only invite further aggression from the Kremlin. This legislation would dramatically increase funding for lethal aid to Ukraine, specifically for anti-air and anti-ship weaponry, that the Ukrainians will need to deter Russia. It also makes clear that Putin’s demands, such as a veto over who can join NATO, and a moratorium on the deployment of intermediate-range missiles to Europe, are non-starters and run contrary to U.S national security interests,” said Rep. Rogers.
“Russia has grossly violated its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum by posturing to invade Ukraine once again while President Biden is failing to adequately arm Ukraine and deter Russia’s military buildup. In fact, his inaction has emboldened Putin and prompted absurd proposals such as the withdrawal of NATO forces from NATO member states in Central and Eastern Europe. These failures have resulted in a weak hand for the Administration going into negotiations with Moscow. Congress must act swiftly to support Ukraine and that is why I am supporting the GUARD Act. We must stand up against authoritarian regimes, like Russia, while strengthening those who stand for democracy,” said Rep. Turner.
“President Biden’s consistent weakness towards our adversaries around the world has encouraged Putin’s latest military aggression and has endangered the territory of Ukraine. While the last two Democrat administrations have been reluctant to provide necessary support to Ukraine, I am proud to join my colleagues in taking strong action to provide support to our partners on the frontlines against Russian aggression. As a sovereign, democratic state, Ukraine must be free to choose its own future, including its economic and security relationships, without fear of Putin’s retribution,” said Rep. Stefanik.
This legislation would:
- Significantly and immediately increase military support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including funding for weaponry and training.
- Designate Ukraine as a “NATO Plus” country to ensure the expeditious consideration of the sale of a range of U.S. defense articles and services.
- Strengthen targeted sanctions on Nord Stream 2, a Russian malign influence project designed to undermine Ukraine and threaten European energy security.
- Establish stronger Congressional oversight over the Biden Administration’s use of Russia sanctions by:
- Providing Congress a veto over the removal of a wider range of Russia-related sanctions, including those related to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Biden Administration’s April Executive Order 14024 (Blocking Property With Respect To Specified Harmful Foreign Activities Of The Government Of The Russian Federation).
- Establishing a mechanism to require the Administration to review certain persons submitted by Congress for eligibility for Russia-related sanctions.
- Establish diplomatic and military deterrents to counter Russian aggression by:
- Reaffirming NATO’s 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration supporting Ukraine and Georgia’s bid to become members of the alliance.
- Rejecting Russia’s proposal for a deployment moratorium of intermediate-range ground-launched missiles in Europe and requiring a strategy on cooperation with NATO allies on conventional intermediate-range missiles.
- Calling on the Administration to move expeditiously to submit a nominee for the Ambassador to Ukraine.
- Requiring a determination on whether the Government of Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism.
- Limiting security risks related to U.S.-Russian military cooperation.
- Authorizing $155 million for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to combat Russian disinformation and information operations in the Former Soviet Union for the year 2022.
- Reaffirming U.S. policy of unwavering commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty.
You can find the text of the bill here.
Reps. Fitzpatrick, McCaul, Rogers, Turner and Stefanik were joined by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) and Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
This bill is the House companion bill to the Senate Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense Act (GUARD Act).