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Rep. Jayapal talks about Ukraine, NATO and COVID funding

A member of Washington’s Congressional delegation says anything other than a diplomatic solution in Ukraine could lead to a bigger disaster.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) says we’re playing a leadership role in trying to bring NATO allies together in a single strategy, including every effort to de-escalate the situation as well as ratcheting up the economic pressure.  Jayapal also credits President Biden with rebuilding relationships unraveled during the last administration.  Now, the question is: can we get to a negotiated settlement?”, Jayapal says, “And how do we make the cost and consequence of Vladimir Putin’s illegal, unjustified aggression on Ukraine hurt enough that he moves toward that negotiated settlement?”

Jayapal says as difficult as it is to watch as people flee Ukraine and Russian bombs destroy civilian sites where families with children are sheltering, a direct conflict between two nuclear powers would be a lot worse.

Here at home, the clock is ticking on a lot of federal COVID funding, and both sides are digging in their heels on authorizing more money.

As the COVID funding expires in steps over the next several weeks, it could mean the end of free tests for uninsured people.  It also puts supplies of COVID boosters and monoclonal antibodies in jeopardy.

Some Republicans say they’d support a plan for up to $30 billion dollars in additional spending if it doesn’t come from other programs, but Jayapal says it’s not as if they have money sitting around.  She says Congress “just authorized $745-billion for military spending, and yet we can’t put $22-billion into making sure we have good stocks of therapeutics and tests.”

Jayapal calls the new spending “essential”, but there’s also a group of 35 Senate Republicans, who’ve told the White House they would only back up to $30-billion additional dollars if they could see exactly how the first $6-trillion was spent.

Jayapal was in Burien to talk about her Climate Resilience Workforce Act. You can read more about it here, or watch the event below:

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