Reid: GOP’s fault Putin annexed Ukraine

Reid: GOP’s fault Putin annexed Ukraine

[Ed. – At least it’s a variation on Bush’s Fault.]

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that Republicans may have helped Russia annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in a surprisingly sharp attack ahead of a test vote on a bill authorizing more U.S. sanctions on Russia and $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine.

Outlining the Senate’s agenda after a one-week recess, the Nevada Democrat said the first item would be the Ukraine bill that Republicans blocked just before lawmakers went on break. He urged Republicans to consider “how their obstruction affects United States’ national security as well as the people of Ukraine” and said their delay of any congressional action “sent a dangerous message to Russian leaders.”

“Since a few Republicans blocked these important sanctions last work period, Russian lawmakers voted to annex Crimea and Russian forces have taken over Ukrainian military bases,” Reid said. “It’s impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice.”

Reid’s charge comes despite widespread support among Republicans and Democrats in Congress for providing Ukraine with much-needed economic assistance and hitting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government with sanctions.

And GOP Senate aides noted the House has passed different legislation, meaning the Senate bill could not have become law before recess anyhow. They blamed Reid and Democrats for blocking the Senate from taking up the House legislation.

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