[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 13 (Thursday, January 20, 2022)]
[Senate]
[Pages S369-S370]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, yesterday I was dismayed to hear the 
President of the United States suggest that a Russian invasion of 
Ukraine might not provoke a powerful response by the United States and 
our allies.
  Now, I am grateful that the Press Secretary did issue a statement 
subsequently which seemed to clarify the strong commitment that the 
American people--from the administration to the Members of Congress--
have to assist our Ukrainian allies in their efforts to deter or defeat 
Russian aggression. I believe we have a duty to stand with Ukraine and 
our European allies as they attempt to defend their democracies.
  Strong language and threats of sanctions have their place, but they 
are not enough to deter Vladimir Putin. We need to take concrete steps 
to deter the likelihood of a Russian attack in any form.
  But it is not just the executive branch of the U.S. Government that

[[Page S370]]

has a role to play. We in Congress have a role we can play, too, in 
sending a very clear message to Vladimir Putin that we will not stand 
idly by while he attacks a neighbor, a democracy, and a potential 
future member of NATO.
  To that end, I have introduced bipartisan legislation called the 
Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act to ensure Ukrainian forces 
have the weapons that they need to deter that aggression and defend, if 
necessary, against a Russian invasion.
  Of course, students of history remember the importance of lend-lease 
back in World War II, back when America was officially neutral in the 
conflict initiated by Nazi Germany in Europe and during a time when the 
American people were of an isolationist frame of mind.
  Recognizing the importance of throwing a lifeline to Great Britain 
and our other allies, Congress passed on a bipartisan basis the Lend-
Lease Act, which ultimately resulted in $30 billion worth of materiel 
being delivered to Britain and our other allies to help them defeat 
Nazi Germany.
  So, in a similar vein, this legislation authorizes the President to 
enter into lend-lease agreements with Ukraine and provide the military 
equipment necessary to protect the Ukrainian people from Russian 
aggression. No one is suggesting that American troops should be on the 
ground, but we are saying clearly that it is our responsibility to 
provide the Ukrainians everything they need in order to defend 
themselves.
  This legislation would once again, in the immortal words of Franklin 
Delano Roosevelt, allow us to serve as the arsenal of democracy, just 
as we did in World War II, and provide Ukraine with the lethal weapons 
they need to protect themselves against the Russian threat.
  Make no mistake, America stands with Ukraine, and we will do 
everything we can, again, on a bipartisan basis--the executive branch, 
the legislative branch--to support our friends and to defeat a Russian 
invasion and allow them to protect their democracy.
  Vladimir Putin's stated concerns about Ukraine are completely a false 
narrative, particularly with regard to his stated concerns about 
Ukraine becoming a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 
which, as we all know, is purely defensive in nature.
  Vladimir Putin has called the fall of the Soviet Union one of the 
greatest geopolitical tragedies of the 20th century, and clearly he is 
of a mind to regain that lost territory as a result of the fall of the 
Soviet Union and, if necessary, do it by force. That is what Putin is 
up to, and we should not be confused about that.
  I am proud to have worked with Senators Cardin and Wicker and 
Senators Shaheen, Graham, and Blumenthal on this legislation, and I 
hope more of our colleagues--again, on a bipartisan basis--will join us 
in advancing this bill and making sure that our Ukrainian friends have 
everything they need to deter, if possible, Russian aggression and, if 
that is not possible, to make sure that Vladimir Putin pays a heavy 
price for attacking Ukraine.