Yes, we can — and must — work together


Bipartisanship works! Republicans and Democrats in Congress answered the call of history. We fought back against Putin, Iran, the terrorists, the scourge of fentanyl and, most important, Russia’s campaign of deceit and disinformation (and Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene).

The House of Representatives passed a legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, with broad bipartisan support, by a vote of 311-112.

The legislation was passed by the Senate and then signed by President Biden. Ukraine is already receiving much-needed military equipment.

The bills will provide weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine; replenish U.S. weapons, stocks and facilities; provide the systems necessary to protect Israel from further missile attacks while addressing humanitarian aid in Gaza and elsewhere in the world (especially the Sudan); and help protect the Indo-Pacific, including Taiwan.
Greene threatened to oust Speaker Mike Johnson if he dared to bring the bill to the floor, and she was joined by other extremists. In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, I promised my support for Johnson if he did his job and called the aid bill for a vote. I guaranteed it would pass.

I had recently returned from a weeklong trip as part of a congressional delegation to Ukraine, Poland and Moldova. My meetings with Ukrainian President Zelensky, his military advisers, local officials and civilians convinced me more than ever that the United States and its allies must stop Vladimir Putin now, before American men and women in uniform are forced to defend NATO soil in Europe.

I once again spoke out strongly against the decades-long Russian disinformation campaign on social media, encouraging Americans to fight among themselves. I pointed out that the ultra-extremist Greene and others have been parroting Putin’s propaganda and lies for months.

Greene did everything she could to torpedo the aid bills. Republican Congressman Ken Buck told CNN that “Moscow Marjorie has reached a new low … She is just mouthing Russian propaganda.” Other Republican leaders confirmed the same.

Putin didn’t invent American partisanship, but his lies and propaganda have fed it, giving rise to these isolationist extremists who would rather America do nothing with democracy on the line.

Our support for Taiwan sends a message to China that we recognize its desire to take over the island, which would giving the Chinese superior market power and greater control of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

And I’m gratified that we were able to pass the Israel aid package, because a lot of the funding is targeted to replenishing weapons stockpiles — as well as helping Israel prepare for a potential multi-front war with more air-defense systems. I’m proud, too, that we included millions of dollars for much-needed humanitarian aid in Gaza.

I also sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken a letter urging him to take swift action to #BringOmerHome. Omer Neutra, an IDF tank commander whose family lives in Plainview, was serving near the Gaza border when he was taken hostage during the attack on Oct. 7. We must exhaust all possible options to secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas.

I clashed with ultra-extremist Texas Congressman Chip Roy as I spoke on the House floor, urging members to find common ground and work together to solve the crisis at the border. Roy kept interrupting me, shouting his divisive comments until he was finally gaveled down from the speaker’s chair.

“I see the people up here in the gallery today,” I said. “People watch television, they read the newspaper, and they’re sick of this. They don’t want us fighting with each other. They don’t want histrionics and hyperbole. They want us to sit down and negotiate a settlement.”

Now, let’s fix the border! I was recently appointed co-chair of Democrats for Border Security, and I’m working to get Democrats all on the same page to bring “order to the border.”

I was proud to have kept my promise to a group of Long Island parents who had lost a child to the scourge of fentanyl overdoses. I told them at a meeting three weeks ago that I would do everything I could to pass the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, which targets the entire illicit fentanyl supply chain. We included the bill in the overall aid package, and the Senate agreed.

These last few weeks have bolstered my belief that Congress needs to get back to the basics of legislating, negotiating and working together to solve the problems that the people of America demand we solve.

Tom Suozzi represents the 3rd Congressional District.