Death Of Putin Foe—Navalny—Rings Urgent Alarm Bell

Published on February 18, 2024, 2:12 pm
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On the heels of the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critic Alexei Navalny, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said an urgent alarm bell now rings that House Speaker Johnson and Republicans must heed as it relates to the bipartisan National Security Supplemental Bill he led to wide bipartisan passage last week. Schumer said that Navalny’s death now makes it even more urgent for House Speaker Johnson to pass the National Security Supplemental. Schumer urged new action as it relates to national security interests and discussed just what exactly is at stake. He explained that this bipartisan bill sits at the feet of Johnson, and Putin is watching. The Senator said that some of America’s biggest national security challenges depend on the House passing the Senate’s bipartisan security package ASAP.

“Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the national security supplemental, and I urged the House and Speaker Johnson to act—but now—with the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political foe, Alexei Navalny, an urgent alarm bell now rings,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Navalny’s tragic death now makes it even more urgent for House Speaker Johnson to pass the National Security Supplemental. This bipartisan bill currently sits at the feet of Speaker Johnson, and Putin is watching. We need to approve the investments that ensure our nation’s security, ensure the security of our partners, and prevent our adversaries from gaining an edge over us.”

“The death of Russia’s brave opposition leader Navalny shows there are enormously high stakes with the supplemental package: our security, our values, our commitment to democracy. It is a down payment for the survival of Western democracy and the survival of American values,” Schumer added. “The entire world is going to remember what the U.S. did here. Nothing—nothing—would make Putin happier right now than to see Congress waver in its support for Ukraine. Nothing would help him more on the battlefield.”

Schumer explained that the war in Ukraine is not some isolated regional struggle. He detailed how its effects will reverberate around the world. The Chinese Communist Party, the Iranian Regime, and all of our adversaries will celebrate if America fails to defend a democracy and ally in need, Schumer noted. Schumer said that if America fails one of our friends, then others will assume we will fail them too. And they will act accordingly.

Schumer said Johnson’s failure to act would send an ominous message to NATO, and our partners whose troops fought with us and bled with us and died with us after 9/11, even though America was the one under attack. Schumer also said that inaction would send an equally troubling message to Taiwan, the Philippines, and other people under threat around the world.

“The message – if we fail – would be that America cannot be trusted. We as a body, as a Congress, as a country cannot afford to send that message,” Schumer said.

“In generations past, Democrats and Republicans would have bent Heaven and Earth to stand up to Russian autocrats. We would have balked at the mere thought of showing weakness to thugs who attack our friends and villains who seek America’s demise. We find ourselves yet again in a moment of history when democracy is under siege and the death of Putin’s only real opposition encapsulates exactly what is at stake and the urgency required to prevail,” Schumer said.

Schumer said he led the national security supplemental passage with military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan with solid bipartisan support. The bill was the culmination of months of bipartisan negotiations and it passed by a vote of 70-29. About $60 billion in the bill would go to supporting Ukraine, with nearly $14 billion to rearm its military through the purchase of weapons and munitions and another nearly $15 billion for training and critical intelligence sharing.


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