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Grassley: If Putin is not stopped, war in Ukraine could expand

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(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the reason he voted in favor of a $95 billion bill that will send aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin before the war in Ukraine escalates.

Russia is not a friend to the United States, Grassley said in a statement released Tuesday.

“If Putin is not stopped in Ukraine, he will be emboldened to attack NATO countries down the line and it will cost much, much more – potentially including American lives,” Grassley said. “Those who worry about World War III should take a lesson from World War II. Appeasement encourages further aggression. Agreeing to let aggression pay off in return for a temporary halt to fighting in not an anti-war position – it is likely to lead to a wider war before too long.”

The Senate passed the bill early Tuesday with 22 Republicans voting “yes.”

Grassley said claims the package contains $60 billion of aid for Ukraine are inaccurate. Much of the money will be used to shore up America’s defenses, he said.

“For instance, $20 billion of the so-called Ukraine money is actually for DoD to buy weapons here at home to replenish our stockpiles with new, updated weapons,” Grassley said. “$8.3 billion is allocated to greatly expand American military production capacity. This gets put under the Ukraine heading because Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine was a wakeup call that our munitions production capacity is not where it should be in the event we get into a major war. But, we need that capacity for our national security, whether we help Ukraine or not.”

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, also voted for the bill.

“By strengthening and equipping America to push back against our adversaries’ aggression, Congress has stepped up to do the job this President will not,” Ernst said in a statement. “This step is critical to reversing President Biden’s weakness on the world stage that has abandoned our partners, emboldened authoritarians, and put American lives at risk.”

House Republicans are saying they will not support the bill.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. said in a statement posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, that the Senate has “failed to meet the moment.”

“The mandate of national security supplemental legislation was to secure America’s own border before sending additional foreign aid around the world,” Johnson said. “It is what the American people demand and deserve.”

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