Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona urges continued Ukraine support in speech on Senate floor

Oct 4, 2023, 5:00 PM

Sen. Mark Kelly spoke on the Senate floor on Ukraine aid on Wednesday. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Ge...

Sen. Mark Kelly spoke on the Senate floor on Ukraine aid on Wednesday. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona spoke on the need to continue military aid to Ukraine on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Kelly, a Democrat, stressed the effectiveness of the support so far and urged his colleagues to continue to work together to help Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

“Now is not the time to let up. It’s time to push forward,” Kelly said in the speech. “A majority of Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate agree – we know that.

“So, while partisan dysfunction got in the way over the weekend, we have to work together to extend the support that Ukraine needs for the sake of Ukraine’s freedom and our own national security, we must get this done – and quickly.”

Kelly visited Ukraine in September, meeting with senior U.S. military leaders and Ukrainian commanders.

He also spoke with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov about the happenings on the battlefield.

Kelly said that more support — monetarily and through weaponry — is necessary and responsible.

“It’s not a blank check and it’s tracked closely,” Kelly said. “I’ve seen this myself during my two visits to Poland and Ukraine. It’s also had the impact of allowing us to modernize our own stockpiles.

“And think about what this support means for our own national security. Russia’s massive army is now a shadow of its former self.”

A path for additional U.S. aid to Ukraine appears increasingly fraught after the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, with many House Republicans opposing help for the war-torn country as they search for a new leader.

Leaders dropped $6 billion in Ukraine aid from the temporary funding measure passed Saturday as they focused on passing it quickly, just hours before the government would have shut down.

Congress will have to figure out by mid-November how to pass another spending bill to keep the government open. Supporters of Ukraine aid — including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who visited the Capitol to plead for the money in person just two weeks ago — said it’s essential that additional funding is included.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona urges continued Ukraine support in speech on Senate floor