WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrat and Republican lawmakers are uniting behind President Biden’s new sanctions and are promising more action.
Both sides say it’s vital to come together to take on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Congressional lawmakers say they stand behind President Biden’s decision to impose historic sanctions against Russia.
“Putin needs to be punished,” said Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler.
Although she wishes Biden had acted before the invasion, saying, “I think that would’ve been a wiser strategy.”
Hartzler said Congress is ready to pass a package of sanctions to send a united message:
“To say this is unacceptable to attack a free independent nation,” she said.
Thursday Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, slammed other Republicans he says are blaming President Biden, instead of Putin, for the crisis.
“America should be united,” he said. “That kind of rhetoric is uncalled and weakens the attempts that we are making.”
One of those Republicans is former President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday called President Putin’s moves against Ukraine “smart.”
Rep. Hartzler said she would not go that far.
“I’d say he’s an evil man,” she said of Putin.
Michigan Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin said Trump’s comments hurt national security.
“I cannot understand it,” said Slotkin. “Why are we lauding and celebrating Vladimir Putin when he wants to rewrite history?”
Slotkin, who joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers in Germany last weekend, says she remains confident that the majority of congress understands this is bigger than politics.
“Serious professionals from both sides of the aisle understand that it’s not just about Russia, it’s also about China — making sure China sees a robust response,” Slotkin said.
Lawmakers will take up their sanctions bill next week.