Durbin: One Way To Help The NATO Alliance Is To Pass An Appropriations Bill

As Russian aggression escalates toward Ukraine and across Eastern Europe, Durbin urges Republican colleagues to pass omnibus

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, called on Senate Republicans to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget to strengthen our alliance with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). As Russian aggression toward Ukraine and others in the region continues to escalate, Durbin reiterated that it is essential to support NATO and surrounding Baltic democracies.

“There is one guiding principle that we should acknowledge: the fate and future and decision-making for the Ukrainian people should be in the hands of the Ukrainian people,” said Durbin. “The question about their future, their solidarity, and defense comes down to the fact that they were invaded eight years ago by Russia.”

Durbin continued, “Is it any wonder that the Ukrainian people look to NATO and other forces to protect them? For seven or eight years they've lost thousands of their citizens innocently, who died in defense of their country. And for us to stand in defense of Ukraine and their efforts to make their own decisions for their future just makes sense.”

Durbin concluded, “As far as Vladimir Putin is concerned, I know his style. We see their continuing threats that the Russians have against the Baltics, for example. These are small, independent, democratic countries that fought long and hard for that opportunity, and they are constantly menaced by Vladimir Putin and his Russian forces. The same is true for Poland. It is important that we stand behind the NATO alliance and one way to help the NATO alliance is to pass an appropriations bill, instead of being stonewalled as we have been by the Republican leadership on that matter.”

Durbin and Senator Grassley (R-IA), Co-Chairs of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus, led 17 of their Senate colleagues in introducing a bipartisan resolution to celebrate 100 years of diplomatic relations with the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The resolution also reaffirms the United States’ commitment to NATO amid increasing Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.