Russia is amassing troops on the border of Ukraine and could further invade the country at any moment. The Senate has not been able to come to an agreement on an aid package for Ukraine. Harry Reid, of course, is blaming the Koch Brothers. No, I’m not joking.
Senator Ted Cruz tells the other side of the story. In a floor speech he said a bipartisan bill could be passed if not for Reid’s using “the crisis in Ukraine for political advantage.”
Cruz said “The world, Russia and the people of Ukraine should understand – Mr. Putin should understand – that all of us are united in standing with the people of Ukraine, that the United States will act.” He went on, “I am convinced we will act decisively to impose sanctions and serious consequences on Russia for their unprovoked act of war. We will act decisively to stand with the people of Ukraine. There should be no doubt in any observer’s mind that this will unify both parties, we will stand together. We would have done so tonight had the Majority Leader not made the cynical decision to hold Ukraine aid hostage to politics. Politics should end at the water’s edge, and I think it’s unfortunate to see the Majority Leader trying to use the crisis in Ukraine for political advantage. That’s the mistake, but there should be no ambiguity. We will impose sanctions. We will stand with Ukraine.”
Then it got interesting when Cruz said that the deal the Democrats want would double the US contribution to the IMF, cost taxpayers billions, and worst of all would give Russia more control over the International Monetary Fund, while diminishing the influence of the United States.
Cruz said “Most inexplicably, these so-called reforms if passed would diminish US influence in the IMF, would reduce our ability to control the decisions of the IMF. Indeed, it would move the funds from a fund in which we have veto authority to one in which we no longer have veto authority. We would have a smaller portion of influence over the IMF. And astonishingly … this bill would expand Russia’s influence and control over the IMF.” He continued, “Let me repeat that. A bill that is being ostensibly introduced to punish Russia for their act of war and act of aggression would expand Russia’s influence over the IMF and decrease the United States of America’s influence. … This makes no sense. I challenge my friends here to stand up here and explain why a sensible response to what Russia has done is to expand Russia’s influence in the IMF and to diminish America’s influence. That makes no sense whatsoever.”
He went on to explain that an aid bill was ready to be voted on but Harry Reid blocked it.
In a press release, Cruz’s office also outlined the actions Cruz would like to take to help Ukraine:
-Press to expel Russia from the G8;
-Immediately enforce the Magnitsky Act (which the Administration has so far failed to do) to punish human rights by Russian officials and expand the act to include Ukrainian human rights abusers;
-Immediately reinstall the anti-ballistic missile program (cancelled under President Obama in an unsuccessful effort to appease Mr. Putin) so that Eastern Europe can defend itself;
-Offer the government of Ukraine a free trade agreement, particularly access to energy exports, including liquid natural gas (LNG), which will help free Ukraine from economic blackmail by Russia.
In regard to creating a free trade agreement with Ukraine, Sen. Cruz said, “We should move immediately to give Ukraine access to U.S. energy exports, particularly liquid natural gas, not just because it would help Ukraine and represent a serious blow to Russia, but because it makes perfect sense from the perspective of the United States. At a time when we’ve got the lowest labor rate participation since 1978, when millions of people are out of work and hurting, we should be developing and expanding our resources, and energy provides an opportunity to transform the geopolitical playing field, to use our abundant resources in a free market manner to free and liberate the people of Ukraine.”
Well, why do any of that when the Democrats can just vilify the Koch brothers?