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March 10, 2022



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Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) released the following statement regarding her vote in support of omnibus legislation to fund the government and provide $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine.

“We are living through challenging, very treacherous times. In the past couple of weeks, we have witnessed a violent and murderous assault on the people of Ukraine, ever since the Russian military invaded their country on the orders of the callous authoritarian, Vladimir Putin. The world has once again witnessed the devastating loss of life and human suffering that never fails to follow armed aggression,” said Congresswoman Clarke.

“As the Congressional representative of the people of the 9th District of New York, home to many Ukrainian-Americans, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to those who have lost loved ones and who have been impacted by the terror that has been unleashed upon the people of Ukraine. My prayers are with the proud, resilient, and transcendently brave people of Ukraine as they contend with the unimaginable and relentless tragedies taking place within the borders of their homeland.” 

Clarke continued, “To the Ukrainian people: Your strength and resolve in the face of this unprovoked attack on your civil society serves both as a shining example for the world to follow in pursuit of freedom and a warning to Mr. Putin and despots like him, that those sworn to defend democracy will not meekly surrender their precious freedoms but will resist and fight until the end. History has taught us that whenever a sovereign, democratic nation like Ukraine faces an existential threat from deranged madmen hellbent on war and suffering, America faces a difficult, yet crucial decision: to either sit idly by as innocent men, women, and children are murdered, or to pursue every avenue available to best defend freedom and democracy and that brings about a stable and lasting peace.” 

“Like so many other Americans, I am compelled to fight for freedom. First, let me be clear in stating that the threat of escalating global tensions with Russia is very real and very grave. Our nation must not and cannot inadvertently find itself in direct armed conflict with Vladimir Putin. That being said, we must always remain engaged in the ceaseless struggle for freedom and democracy whenever these sacred ideals are attacked, at home and abroad. Our choice today is not a choice between inaction and all-out war. I believe that there are meaningful measures the United States can and should take to support the Ukrainian people without providing Russia cause to plunge the world into another global world war.” 

“Last night I voted in support of crucial omnibus legislation that included increases in defense spending and critical aid for Ukraine for that very reason. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have historically withheld my support from measures that would increase our nation’s defense spending while so many underfunded priorities and underserved communities remain at home. While I remain committed to increased investments in non-defense spending, given this legislation’s critical inclusion of aid provisions for the Ukrainian people and bans on Russian energy imports, as well as the current threats to democracy across the world, my decision became all too clear. This legislation is in the best interests of all Americans, both now and in the future. I recognize the pain that we all feel in the supermarket and at the gas pump is very real and that we must not take for granted the sacrifices of the American people that have allowed our country to take its stand on this issue. Our unity in this extremely consequential moment is required. I recognize that the value of this bill towards supporting our Ukrainian allies and putting America on a path to a future where we no longer rely on dictators for our energy cannot be overstated. We must boldly lead both globally and domestically in this moment. Our future depends on it.”

“Though we remain hopeful for an expedited, peaceful resolution to this crisis, please know that the burden felt by our families and communities today will not be in vain as we pursue a more democratic, more humane future globally. It is a difficult cause, but one we must take up all the same. For the world, for the United States of America, and for our future.”

“Slava Ukraini!” said Clarke. 


Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is a Senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she serves on the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, and is a Senior Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

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