Utah Sen. Mitt Romney took to the Senate floor Monday night and urged his colleagues to continue to support Ukraine in its war against Russia, saying that if they don’t the United States “will cease to be the leader of the free world.”
During his remarks, which lasted only five minutes, Romney issued several dire warnings over what he believes would be the consequences of lawmakers deciding not to send additional funds to Ukraine.
“If we fail to help Ukraine, America will cease to be the arsenal of democracy. It will cease to be the leader of the free world,” he said.
The Senate is debating a $95.3 billion foreign aid package that includes roughly $60 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel, and $9.5 billion in humanitarian assistance.
During his remarks, Romney said the vote to “provide military weapons for Ukraine is the most important vote we will ever take as United States senators.”
“We are not being asked to send American troops into war,” he continued, “only to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.”
Romney said he believes if the U.S. does not send aid to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will “invade a NATO nation.” He said it would also signal to China the U.S. will not live up to its promises to help Taiwan, and that it would lead to the disintegration of NATO.
“If we fail to help Ukraine, we will be known not as our fathers and mothers were — the greatest generation — but as the worst generation,” he said.
Romney challenged each of the reasons other lawmakers have cited for why the U.S. should not support Ukraine, including concerns over high deficits and depleting America’s military arsenal.
“I know that the shock jocks and online instigators have effectively riled up many in the far reaches of my party. But if your position is being cheered by Vladimir Putin, it’s time to reconsider your position,” he said.
The Senate voted 66-33 Monday night to advance the bill toward a final vote.
Meanwhile, several Republican senators, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, have rejected sending additional funds to Ukraine and have also said Congress should focus on securing America’s border.
An earlier foreign aid bill that included funds for border security failed to achieve enough Republican support to pass the Senate over complaints the bill would not actually shore up the border.
House Speaker Mike Johnson released a statement Monday night casting doubt the House would vote on the foreign aid package, saying that “any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border.”