Updates from the House Armed Services Committee Majority's response to Vladimir Putin's unprovoked and unlawful war against Ukraine

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Chairman Smith Reacts to President Zelenskyy’s Address to Congress

DECEMBER 21, 2022

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Congress to deliver a historic address as Ukraine continues to defend itself against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion

“Ten months since Vladimir Putin’s unlawful further invasion began, the people of Ukraine continue to inspire the world with their courage, resilience, and determination. I was honored to hear President Zelenskyy’s address today. His unwavering commitment to freedom and the rule of law has shown us that the outcome of the war in Ukraine will determine the course of global security this century.

“At every stage of this war, the United States has worked with our allies and partners to get the Ukrainian people what they have needed to defend themselves and to push back Russian aggression. The strategy that the Biden Administration has put in place – sending over unprecedented economic, military, and humanitarian assistance, imposing massive economic pressure against Russia, and rallying a global coalition to support Ukraine – is delivering real results. 

“The Ukrainian people will face a difficult winter since Russia remains unwilling to engage in good-faith diplomatic efforts to end this unprovoked war.  During this pivotal moment, Congress has demonstrated bipartisan support for Ukraine. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23 NDAA) allocates $800 million in funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which provides vital assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and requires a comprehensive assessment of the oversight framework for U.S. assistance to Ukraine. To support the everyday Ukrainians who have seen their lives violently disrupted by Putin’s war, Congress must also pass the omnibus spending bill, which provides nearly $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine.  

“Congress will continue to work with President Zelenskyy to support Ukraine as effectively as possible, providing military, economic, and humanitarian assistance to make life better for the people of Ukraine.  The United States stands with Ukraine and will continue to support its fight for freedom and democracy.”

Smith Statement on Six-Month Anniversary of Russia’s Further Invasion of Ukraine

AUGUST 24, 2022

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement marking the six-month anniversary of Russia’s unlawful further invasion of Ukraine, as well as Ukraine’s Independence Day.

“President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have inspired the world with their courage and patriotism in the face of Vladimir Putin’s violent, unlawful aggression toward their country, especially in the past six months. I witnessed this resilience firsthand during my visit to Kyiv just last month, and I have been proud to support legislation that aids the Ukrainian people in their brave struggle for independence, sovereignty, and freedom. The Biden-Harris administration, along with U.S. allies and partners around the world, have provided economic, military, and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people in their time of need while also holding Putin and his accomplices accountable with unprecedented sanctions against the Russian economy and war machine.

“Every year, communities across the United States and around the world join the Ukrainian people in celebration of Ukraine’s Independence Day — and this year’s celebrations mark an occasion for even greater pride in the Ukrainian people and the country they have built, grown, and defended with bravery against Putin’s aggression. The American people stand with Ukraine, and I hope for the year ahead to further strengthen the deep friendship between our two countries.”

Smith, Congressional Delegation Statement Following Meeting with President Zelenskyy in Ukraine

JULY 23, 2022

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; and Representatives Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) issued the following joint statement after meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov during their visit to Ukraine.

“During our visit to Kyiv, we saw firsthand just how deeply Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine has failed to achieve his aims. Putin’s aggression has brought Ukraine and the other democracies of Europe closer together, not driven them apart. His contempt for the rules-based international order has resulted in devastating isolation for the Russian economy and renewed purpose for the NATO alliance. But the costs for Putin’s failure have not only fallen on the Russian economy or the Russian military, which has lost thousands of soldiers to his strategic blunders. Everyday Ukrainians have seen their lives and livelihoods violently disrupted by Putin’s war – and we saw evidence of the Russian atrocities firsthand while we visited Irpin and Bucha.

“Four months since Vladimir Putin’s unlawful further invasion began, President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine continue to inspire the world with their courageous fight for their freedom, sovereignty, and democracy. The United States, along with allies and partners around the world, have stood with Ukraine by providing economic, military, and humanitarian assistance — and we have imposed a range of unprecedented sanctions and other measures to hold Putin and his cronies accountable, increase pressure on the Russian economy, and disrupt the Russian war machine. We will continue to seek ways to support President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people as effectively as possible as they continue their brave stand.”

Smith Praises House Passage of Supplemental Aid Package for Ukraine

MAY 10, 2022

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee,  released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7691, the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, which includes nearly $40 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian support to Ukraine.

“The people of Ukraine have inspired the world with their courageous fight against Vladimir Putin’s unlawful aggression. More help is on the way from the American people thanks to this supplemental aid package. Support from the United States, our allies, and our partners has made a difference in the hands of Ukrainians – not only on the battlefield, but also in the daily lives and livelihoods of Ukrainians who have been displaced or otherwise harmed by Russia’s unprovoked war.

“As the conflict shifts in Ukraine’s southern and eastern regions, this new chapter in the war is requiring new kinds of support for the Ukrainian people. The supplemental aid package passed by the House today will deliver exactly that, building on the Biden-Harris administration’s monthslong efforts to stand with Ukraine, hold Putin accountable with punishing economic measures, reinforce NATO’s Eastern flank, and do so in concert with U.S. allies and partners. Together, these efforts will support the Ukrainian military’s continued success.

“Countries around the world face a choice between Putin’s failed formula of violent aggression, or a rules-based international order with the promise of safety and stability for everyone. Right now, Russia is losing. President Zelenskyy and the legitimate Ukrainian government remain in power in Kyiv, and Vladimir Putin has become a global pariah. By passing this legislation today, the House has provided vital help to continue that success and has again shown that the American people stand with Ukraine.”

Smith Statement on President Biden’s Supplemental Request for Ukraine Assistance

APRIL 28, 2022

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after President Biden requested $33 billion in supplemental aid for Ukraine:

“President Biden’s additional request for funding to aid the people of Ukraine – who have shown remarkable courage in the face of Putin’s war – will support the ongoing fight to protect their democracy. Congress and the American people remain ironclad in our commitment to helping Ukrainians defend themselves from Russia’s unprovoked aggression. The United States, its allies, and its partners have delivered security assistance to the Ukrainian military with unprecedented speed since Putin’s invasion began, and this supplemental package will be critical in the next phase of this war.

“Standing with Ukraine means not only providing the Ukrainian military with effective equipment on the battlefield, but also helping meet the everyday needs of the Ukrainian people. We must deliver vital humanitarian aid to Ukrainians displaced by Putin’s war, help neighboring countries as they welcome Ukrainian refugees, and prevent Russia’s invasion from seriously disrupting the global food supply chain supported by Ukrainian harvesters. President Biden’s supplemental request will do just that.”

Smith Supports New Consequences for Putin’s War

APRIL 6, 2022

Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the United States, in coordination with other G7 countries and the European Union, imposed new, severe costs on Vladimir Putin and the Russian economy as part of their sustained, unified response to Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine:

“Banning investments in Russia and strengthening restrictions on Russia’s financial system — in coordination with our allies and partners — is the right move. Putin’s brutal war will not go unpunished. Harsh economic measures will deepen his challenges at home and make it harder for him to continue his unlawful aggression. With these measures, members of Putin’s own family and inner circle will also experience additional economic costs as a result of their complicity in his violence. The images we have seen coming from Bucha show just how little regard Vladimir Putin has for innocent human life and the rule of law. He must be held accountable. We must stand with the Ukrainian people, increase pressure on the Russian economy, and do so with our allies and partners in Europe and around the world.”

Hearing: “Fiscal Year 2023 Defense Budget Request”

APRIL 5, 2022

On April 5, the Committee received testimony about the Department of Defense's budget for fiscal year 2023. "From the Secretary’s statement, it is clear the President’s FY2023 defense budget and the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS) are aligned," Chairman Adam Smith said in his prepared opening statement. "There is a clear emphasis on China as the pacing challenge and the acute threat from Russia. Integrated deterrence in the NDS will, rightly, focus on partners and allies and all instruments of national power."

Chairman Smitalso discussed the consequences of Russia's unlawful invasion of Ukraine for international security and America's national security priorities. "We do not want Russia and other aggressive countries to think that, by force, they can attack their neighbors and expand their territory," he said.

Hearing: “National Security Challenges and U.S. Military Activity in Europe”

MARCH 30, 2022

The full Committee met on March 30 to examine Department of Defense policies, programs, and activities in the U.S. European Command area of operations. "The Euro-Atlantic region," Chairman Smith said in his prepared remarks, "is one of the most crucial theaters for U.S. national security, because it simultaneously encompasses one of the most robust collections of allies and partners and one of the adversaries most willing to take drastic action to upend the rules-based international order. Russia has underscored that point with a war of choice, launching an unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine that has produced enormous suffering. The United States, its allies, and partners have responded with a nearly unprecedented show of unity, leveraging our collective capabilities and resources – both military and nonmilitary – to support the Ukrainian people in their fight against this assault and raise the costs for Russia of aggression."