Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively, wrote an op-ed published on CNN that Congress must act to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his actions in Crimea.
The two congressmen said that Congress must send a message of support to Ukraine.
They urged Congress to pass a financial support package for Ukraine, prepare a trade embargo and potential sanctions, and be ready to provide defense assistance should Russia refuse to back down.
Additionally, the congressmen stressed that defense cuts proposed by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should be scrapped, as they "are entirely unrealistic in today’s threat environment."
Putin clearly decided that the benefits of an armed intervention in Ukraine outweighed whatever costs the United States would be willing to impose.
The United States must reset that calculation. […]
If we do not take these steps, similar actions by Russia and other authoritarian regimes around the world will only proliferate. So, too, will the uncertainty and hedging of our global allies and potential partners, who already, from Latin America to the Middle East to Asia, have plenty of reasons to doubt our seriousness and question whether America will continue to be the leading force for peace and stability in the world in the decades to come.