HUDSON: “I need ammunition, not a ride”

This statement from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become symbolic of Ukraine’s unwavering and inspiring courage in the face of overwhelming odds from Russia’s invasion. Zelenskyy reportedly made the comment last month as he rejected an offer to evacuate from Ukraine’s capital. So last week, I introduced a bill to help meet his call to action.

I firmly believe the United States has a strategic and moral obligation to aid the Ukrainian people in their fight. While I do not support sending American troops to Ukraine, I have repeatedly called for increased lethal aid and humanitarian support. I’ve also been encouraged by companies and individuals like our state’s NASCAR legend Richard Childress who offered to donate 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine.

That’s why last week, I introduced the American Ammo in Defense of Ukraine Act. This legislation will cut government red tape so donations like these can reach Ukraine faster. Through this, we can get government out of the way and allow Americans to help others in need.

As I continue advancing this common-sense bill, last week Congress passed $14 billion to aid Ukraine. While this is important to help save innocent lives, it is ironic that many Washington Democrats can rush to approve foreign aid yet consistently neglect our own national and border security. Despite their objections, we were able to force an increase in funds to secure our border and to fund implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy that President Donald Trump used to stop the flood of immigrants across our southern border. However, there is still more to be done.

Unfortunately, many Washington Democrats are also neglecting America’s own energy independence as well.

Last week, President Biden announced a ban on Russian energy imports to the U.S. This was a good and overdue step and I thank the President for finally taking this action.

However, the current administration continues to drop the ball when it comes to unleashing American energy to ease the pain we are all feeling at the pump.

National gas prices have reached an all-time record of $4.33 a gallon. In North Carolina, the average is $4.18. While traveling across our region last week, I witnessed these price hikes and their effects on our community first-hand.

The situation in Russia has undoubtedly contributed to this crisis but make no mistake – President Biden’s anti-American energy policies first created it.

Gas prices, like inflation, have risen every month since Biden’s been in office. However, instead of taking steps to unleash American energy, Biden’s solution is to turn to hostile nations like Iran and Venezuela for more oil.

Instead, Washington Democrats must reverse their energy policies and pass my American Energy Independence from Russia Act to boost domestic production of oil and gas. By increasing this production, we can return to energy independence, create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil.

We need these solutions more than ever before. On Thursday, it was announced that inflation increased 7.9% in February, maintaining the highest rate since 1982. Between inflation and gas prices, families across our state and country are hurting in ways not felt in years or even generations.

I will continue to fight for common-sense solutions for each of these challenges and will always stand up for our rights. That’s why last week, I also continued my efforts to defend our Second Amendment.

I helped introduce the No REGISTRY Rights Act to counter a proposed rule from the Biden administration that would allow the ATF to create a permanent gun registry. I also helped introduce the FIND Act to end gun control through corporate discrimination against firearms companies. No business should be able to discriminate and threaten the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Whether it’s the Second Amendment, lower gas prices, or energy and border security – know I will never stop fighting for what matters most to you and your family.

By U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson