WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Democrats and Republicans unite around President Biden’s new sanctions and promise more action.
Both sides say it is vital to unite to fight Russian President Vladimir Putin. Congressional lawmakers say they are behind President Biden’s decision to impose historic sanctions on Russia.
“Putin must be punished,” said Vicki Hartzler, a Republican from Missouri.
Although she wants Biden to act before the invasion, saying, “I think that would be a wiser strategy.”
Harzler said Congress was ready to adopt a package of sanctions to send a single message:
“To say that it is unacceptable to attack a free independent nation,” she said.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, blamed other Republicans for the crisis, who he said blamed President Biden, not Putin.
“America must be united,” he said. “Such rhetoric is inappropriate and weakens the attempts we make.”
One such Republican is former President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday called President Putin’s steps against Ukraine “reasonable.”
A spokeswoman for Harzler said she would not go that far.
“I would say he is an evil man,” she said of Putin.
Michigan Democrat Alice Slotkina said Trump’s comments were detrimental to national security.
“I can’t understand that,” Slotkin said. “Why do we praise and honor Vladimir Putin if he wants to rewrite history?”
Slotkina, who joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers in Germany last weekend, says she remains confident that most of Congress understands that this is more than politics.
“Serious experts on both sides of the aisle understand that it’s not just Russia, but China as well – make sure China sees a decisive answer,” Slotkin said.
Next week, lawmakers will consider their bill on sanctions.