WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID) and 6 other GOP colleagues in introducing the Guaranteeing Ukraine’s Autonomy by Reinforcing its Defense Act (GUARD Act), legislation to provide critical support to Ukraine as it faces the threat of an invasion from Russia.
“While Congressional Democrats claim that they are tough on Russia, they’re refusing to act as President Biden’s appeasement to Vladimir Putin continues. The Biden Administration’s weakness, including its refusal to fully enforce mandatory congressional sanctions to halt Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, has emboldened Russia to further threaten Europe and U.S. national security interests in the region,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to support Ranking Member Risch’s GUARD Act to advance strong and responsible American and allied policies to counter Vladimir Putin’s growing aggression.”
“As Ukraine faces yet another build-up of Russian troops on its border and the threat of a mid-January invasion, the United States should be doing everything it can right now to deter Russia and provide Ukraine the supplies and support it needs to defend itself,” said Senator Risch. “Since the administration has failed to act, I have introduced legislation that would provide immediate material support to Ukraine. We cannot sit back and wait to react to Russian aggression. Congress must continue its strong support for the Ukrainian people and their right to sovereignty and self-defense.”
- Substantially and immediately increases material support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including funding for weaponry, training, and military reform.
- Authorizes $450 million in Foreign Military Financing for Ukraine for the year 2022.
- Would replenish the presidential drawdown authority account should the president use all currently available funds to support Ukraine.
- Strengthens sanctions on Nord Stream 2, a Russian malign influence project designed to undermine Ukraine and threaten European energy security.
- Establishes diplomatic and military deterrents to counter Russian aggression:
- Designates Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism in the event its forces further invade Ukraine.
- Limits security risks related to U.S.-Russian military cooperation.
- Reaffirms U.S. policy of unwavering commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty.
Text of the legislation can be found here.