WirePOLITICS: Boyle on Democratic National Convention, Ukraine Crisis

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle is overjoyed that the Democratic National Committee will hold its 2016 convention in Philadelphia.

Boyle declared it a “great day” for Philadelphia after the Feb. 12 announcement by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, that Philadelphia had beaten out Brooklyn and Columbus, Ohio.

The congressman added that 2016 is going to be a great year for the city.

“I join my fellow Philadelphians in cheering this tremendous news,” he said. “Call me biased, but in my opinion my hometown, the City of Brotherly Love, was the only choice for the 2016 DNC. Philadelphia boasts the most historic square mile in the country, and I am extremely excited for the DNC to experience this city, which truly is the birthplace of America. Nowhere else can you find so many potent symbols of our democracy: the Liberty Bell, which proclaims freedom despite its mute ring; the President’s House, which humbly housed our first two presidents; Carpenters’ hall, where a dozen colonies agreed to boycott British imports and defy an empire; and Betsy Ross’ house, where the tapestry of our flag was first woven and unified thirteen colonies under a single banner.

“All of them, only here in the City of Brotherly Love. It is here that dreamers, inventors and patriots infused our Constitution with the revolutionary language and values that have resonated around the world and throughout history. Our enviable history extends to the present, and it also includes many contemporary cultural icons identified across the globe. Cheesesteaks, ‘Wit’ Wiz;’ the Rocky steps; Love Park; the Schuylkill River; pretzels; Boat House Row; water ice; more pretzels. It is the mixture of the great things that makes Philly Philly.”

Meanwhile, Boyle released the following statement on the crisis in Ukraine:

“There is no question that Russian troops are terrorizing Ukrainian citizens, and Ukraine should defend itself against those obvious occupation attempts. The best options include both economic and lethal defensive assistance.

“In 2014, Congress gave President Obama the authority to offer both economic and lethal defensive assistance with the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, and I join my Democratic and Republican colleagues in urging the president to take these crucial steps. Now is the time to use that authority.”

“We also have to keep in mind that a stable and prosperous Ukrainian economy is essential for the future of Ukrainian democracy. The president has pledged up to $2 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine, and his budget added $100 million in aid over the last year alone. Providing economic assistance today is a smart investment and it will provide Ukraine and Europe with security and prosperity for years to come.”

A cease-fire peace deal was set to be implemented on Sunday night, after the Midweek Wire went to press. Troop withdrawal will take two weeks.

However, Russia and Ukraine are differing over details such as the status of Debaltseve, a key town now under rebel siege. A cease-fire in September did not last.

More than 5,300 people have died since last April in eastern Ukraine in fighting between Russian-backed separatists and government troops.