South Dakota Senators call for quicker Biden Administration response for Ukraine

WASHINGTON — It was an emotional morning in Washington as members of Congress gathered to hear Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address.

Rounds ThuneForeign leaders have addressed Congress before, but never virtually, or from a war zone.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds said the impassioned speech brings a reasonable expectation that sanctions originally in place may be intensified. He’s also hoping it will speed-up the Biden Administration’s response.

“It’s not that the Administration isn’t doing it, but we’d like to see them have a little bit more emphasis on getting done, getting it done in a timely fashion and perhaps challenging some of their bureaucratic ways,” Sen. Rounds says.

Senator John Thune saying the videos shown to Congress were sobering, and he echoed Rounds’ point about the timeliness of support to Ukraine. That support, Thune says, doesn’t include American troops.

“I do think that, you know, drawing a line at direct American involvement is key,” Sen. Thune says. “That involves not only American troops on the ground but also the no fly zone, which they’ve asked for. I’m fine with giving them the air assets to police a no fly zone. I just don’t think it’s something that the United States should do, at least not yet.”

Zelenskyy also reminded Americans of the events of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, and calling on the patriotism of South Dakota’s enduring memorial to freedom.

“It felt good that they had to recognize that Mount Rushmore is a symbol of our country and a symbol of democracy and also a symbol of those real men, a real flesh and blood men that risked their own lives to to create this country and to keep it free,” Sen. Rounds adds. “I think back to our admiration for George Washington as the father of our country; you look at President Zelenskyy right now and I believe that he may very well go down as the father of their modern day Ukraine.”

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