Van Drew Says More Needs to be Done to Protect U.S., NJ
There have been continued sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and a New Jersey Congressman says the U.S. should be doing more to go after this war criminal.
"Number one, Putin is a war criminal and he's a sadistic and evil man to be honest with you. What he has done is horrible," Congressman Jeff Van Drew tells Townsquare Media News. "We all saw today that literally a hospital, with children and pregnant women were, was blown up, children died, women died -- I mean, that's something that you just don't do. Even on the escape routes, that are supposed to be safe, they ended up that they weren't safe and Putin, in the end, went after people that were on those escape routes too."
For the U.S. role in going after Putin and with how things are being handled domestically, Van Drew puts the blame on President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders.
"We have a weak and feckless president, we have a president who just literally every day, every single day, is doing something else that is wrong and incompetent. It's shameful, it's not the United States I know," Van Drew said. "We have a Congress that also is weak and feckless and not doing the job it should do, in the majority. It's really and truly disturbing, I believe, to obviously all the good Americans especially those who have sacrificed serving in our Armed Services."
Congressman Van Drews says the President and Congress should have acted a lot sooner than they did in enacting sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"They knew this was coming, they reported to us, to you and I and everyone listening on the radio and watched on television and saw on the internet when the Secretary of State kept saying 'this is coming, it's well imminent', for months we knew, so why didn't we prepare sanctions that were strong ahead of time, why didn't we get them (Ukraine) the military aid they could use ahead of time, why didn't we get them the resources they needed ahead of time -- we could have done all that, but instead waited until the last minute," Van Drew said. "You see these brave freedom fighters doing everything they can to survive. So many people are dying, so many people are getting hurt -- it's just really, really painful and we could have done much better."
There is more than can be done now, Van Drew explains, to help.
"I believe we need to help, I do not believe we should have boots on the ground, we should not have our soldiers in Ukraine or in Russia," Van Drew said.
Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelenskyy, who has drawn praise and admiration from around the world for his bravery, courage, and leadership of his people during these extremely difficult times, made that presence very clear after President Joe Biden offered a way out of his country, and it was Zelenskyy who famously said, "I need ammunition, not a ride."
"I'll never forget this because I think it was a powerful moment when President Biden offered Zelenskyy an out and said 'we'll help you sneak out of the country, we'll make sure that you get a plane ride or however we do it, we'll get you out of your country' and the President of the Ukraine, Zelenskyy said, 'I don't want a ride, I want ammo'," Van Drew said. "That's leadership, that's strength, that's what we don't have in the United States."
Van Drew believes more should be done to help Zelenskyy and Ukraine while going after Russia, and there's a bill that would target that, but the Congressman cautions the devil being in the details.
"We're doing a bill in Congress that essentially states that we will restrict energy being sold from Russia and exported to the United States. Now, that's all good and well, but believe it or not there was a version of it that presented everything from being traded, sold from Russia to the United States which is the way we should go and what we should do and President Biden didn't like that," Van Drew said. "He still wants to have, and so do the Democrats in Congress, normal trade with Russia. So, they want us to trade with Russia, give our American money to Russia -- which in essence will used by Russia to kill and mame and destroy other human beings -- I don't think that's right, I'm not going to vote for that bill."
- You can hear the full conversation with Congressman Jeff Van Drew here:
As for the oil and gas-related sanctions, Van Drew is on board but feels the United States should be doing more to produce gas domestically, which would also help lower prices at the gas pumps.
"We need to increase our energy production that Biden reduced, we need to open up our pipeline -- the Keystone pipeline -- we need to restrict the Russian pipeline, morsted too obviously, which we also encouraged, we need to make sure that whether it's liquified natural gas or oil or natural gas, that we are getting to the production standards that we had during the administration in which President Trump was there," Van Drew said. "The first thing that Biden did is reduce that and make us weak, so we're on our knees to China, we're on our knees to Russia, we're on our knees to literally countries all around the world like OPEC and Iran."
There is a balance, Van Drew explains, between continuing to put sanctions on Russia and producing our own gas domestically.
"That's easy enough to do, put sanctions on Russia, tell them that they can't export -- not only gas and oil -- but other stuff as well. Secondly, open the spigots in the United States, we have the oil, we have the gas, we have the liquified natural gas -- let's get moving," Van Drew said. "Remember, gasoline prices were going up before the war even started. The reason is because of the actions that this president, Biden, took when he first got elected."
Elsewhere, domestically, Van Drew was among those surprised at President Joe Biden who said in his State of the Union address that we should "fund the police".
"He didn't tell the truth. He wanted to demean, diminish, and defund the police. We have quotes of him saying it, does he think those quotes go away? They're there," Van Drew said. "He wanted to decrease the police."
Here in New Jersey, changes are needed to make the state a more affordable place to live and work.
Congressman Van Drew says there's a correlation between the economy and Governor Phil Murphy releasing prisoners early.
"There are a lot of good people who work for the state of New Jersey and are good people, but, in some cases, we just aren't doing the right thing there. There are ways to save money and there are ways not to save money. The way this governor likes to save money is releasing violent prisoners from prison -- that's an interesting way to save money, to say the least -- so, they're releasing them over and over again, literally individuals who raped, abused, and in some cases, killed children," Van Drew said. "They should never be released, what kind of state does that, what kind of governor would do that, they should be in prison for life. In fact, I'll say something that's going to be controversial to some people, if you rape and kill a child, frankly I do think you should get the death penalty, and I know we don't have it anymore in New Jersey, but you need to do something and you certainly don't need to release them. I promise you that we're going to have more crime increasing in the state of New Jersey because of the violent prisoners that we are releasing and the prisons that we are closing, and that's shameful."