Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of H.R. 4152, which would make Ukraine eligible for U.S. loan guarantees. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
“I thank the Gentlelady for yielding. I want to thank Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey for bringing this bill to the Floor in a very timely fashion.
“Mr. Speaker, Congress is coming together today to support loan guarantee authority for Ukraine that will be instrumental in stabilizing its economy and showing Ukraine's people that the United States stands with them. I view this as a first step in what hopefully will be a series of actions to support the people of Ukraine, including I.M.F. ratification authority. I also support, Mr. Speaker, President Obama's action this morning to impose sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials who are exacerbating the crisis and put in place visa restrictions.
“Mr. Speaker, I chaired the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1985 to 1995. The Final Act says that borders cannot be changed other than by political means. The Russians need to comply with that admonition.
“I commend the Administration's efforts to broker a diplomatic process that can resolve this dangerous situation in Ukraine. The steps taken today are integral to that effort. We will stand hopefully as one in this Congress on behalf of this bill.
“Russia has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in its unlawful and unwarranted military occupation of Crimea and its threats against the government in Kiev. I do not purport to say this is a simple situation that we confront. I would commend to my colleagues an article by Henry Kissinger in today's Washington Post – the complexities of this situation are real, but the actions of the Russians is an unacceptable response. And we must take action.
“As a former Chairman of the Commission during the waning days of the Cold War, I’ve seen firsthand the yearning for freedom by the peoples of the former Soviet Union. There are deep linguistic and political divisions within Ukraine. Frankly, that is true of many other countries as well. Democracy, by its nature, provides an avenue to overcome those differences through peaceful cooperation and dialogue. That is what must prevail – must prevail – in Ukraine, and what must guide all parties forward. Not force, not intimidation, and not separatism.
“The United States remains committed, Mr. Speaker, to standing with all the people of Ukraine as they seek the better future they deserve. And, therefore, I urge my colleagues to overwhelmingly support this resolution and again thank Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Lowey for bringing this to the Floor so quickly and decisively, and I yield back the balance of my time.”