Amid Tensions With Russia, Schumer Requests Senate Briefing on Ukraine

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is requesting that the Biden administration brief senators as tensions with Russia are rising over its military buildup on its border with Ukraine.

According to The Hill, a source familiar with the matter confirmed that Schumer asked for an all-Senate briefing with the administration when senators return next week to Washington from a one-week break.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a separate briefing request for all House members earlier Monday.

The briefing requests come as the Biden administration is attempting to pressure Moscow amid concerns that the Russian military may invade Ukraine. On Sunday, the State Department announced that it had ordered the evacuation of family members of U.S. government employees. The Pentagon said Monday that it may deploy up to 8,500 troops to the region.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki implied that the administration would grant the requests from Congress, telling reporters that ”we have been in close consultation with members in leadership from the beginning. I am sure we are working to meet the request and needs of members.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is negotiating with Republicans for a deal on sanctions legislation. Menendez introduced legislation earlier this month that would put sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine, but some Republicans want sanctions placed on Russia beforehand as a deterrent.

However, ”we are working as we speak with various Republican colleagues who have their own ideas as to how to deter Putin,” and the goal is to ”speak with one voice and send a very clear message that we stand with Ukraine,” Menendez told MSNBC last week.

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