As the Second Session of the 116th Congress begins our primary focus will remain initially on legislation authorizing the activities Department of Defense and the Department of State, and the appropriations bills for those two Cabinet Departments.
In working with and through the Friends of Ukraine Network (FOUN) we will be guided by the FOUN’s “Priority Recommendations for U.S. Assistance to Ukraine 2020” and the results of the authorization and appropriations process for the current fiscal year.
For this fiscal year $250,000,000 has been appropriated for the Ukraine Assistance Initiative in the Department of Defense, and that includes $50,000,000 only for lethal assistance.
For Department of State Ukraine related programs the following amounts have been appropriated:
Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA) – $250,000,000 for anti-corruption, civil society, and other democracy promotion programs including helping rural women, veterans, and IDPs.
Foreign Military Financing for Ukraine – $115,000,000
International Narcotics Control – $30,000,000
Nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, and demining – $15,000,000
International Military Education and Training – $2,900,000
Among pieces of legislation carrying over from the First Session that has our attention there are a number of proposals listed below – priorities beyond authorization and appropriation will be determined:
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, and Vice Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus introduced S.Res.27 with 66 co-sponsors, “Calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”
S.Res. 27 has been reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Senator Marko Rubio (R-FL) Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, and member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, for himself and 6 co-sponsors, introduced S.Res.81, “Calling for accountability and justice for the assassination of Boris Nemtsov.” One relevant paragraph, “Whereas Boris Nemtsov was a powerful voice in opposition to the authoritarianism and corruption of Vladimir Putin’s government, publicizing its abuses, leading street protests against election fraud and the war on Ukraine, and successfully advocating for international sanctions on human rights violators…”
S.Res. 81 was reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-VA), for himself and 25 co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 596, The Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act.
H.R. 596 has passed the House of Representatives and is in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), Ranking Member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa and Terrorism, introduced along with 12 co-sponsors H.R. 5408, “To oppose violations of religious freedom in Ukraine by Russia and armed groups commanded by Russia.”
Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS), Co-Chair of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) introduced S. 3064 a companion measure to H.R. 5408 above.
Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Ranking Republican on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with 3 co-sponsors including Chairman Eliot Engle, H.R. 3047, “To provide support to Ukraine to defend its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity….” Among other things Section 5 of the legislation calls for Major Non-NATO Ally Status for Ukraine.
Congressman Michael Conaway (R-TX), introduced H.Res.116 with 21 co-sponsors, which is companion legislation to S.Res.27 by Senator Ron Johnson, “Calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Co-Chair House Ukraine Caucus, introduced H.R. 3841 with 3 co-sponsors, “Stopping Aggressive Incursions on Liberty by Ordering Russian Sanctions Act.”
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, for himself and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations introduced S. 1189, “To require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.”
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Co-Chair of the House Ukraine Caucus, with 3 co-sponsors introduced H.Res.474, “Condemning the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to restore full rights to Russia within the Council.”.
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and member of the House Ukraine Caucus, for himself and 18 co-sponsors, introduced H.Res.156, “Calling for accountability and justice for the assassination of Boris Nemtsov,” a companion resolution to S. Res. 81 of Senator Rubio above, which has been reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations..