The United States House of Representatives passed a resolution of support for Ukraine, and three Republicans voted no. The three no votes came from Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Matt Rosendale of Montana. It’s been a big week for Massie, who was also one of the three no votes on the Emmett Till Antilynching Act.
The Ukraine support resolution “demands an immediate cease-fire and the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory” and “supports, unequivocally, Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” It also backs sanctions against Russia, defense assistance to Ukraine, promises aid to refugees, supports the right of Russians to protest, reaffirms the U.S. commitment to NATO, and highlights the importance of energy independence for both the U.S. and Europe.
Massie, who has a history of voting against sanctions on Russia and other Putin-friendly stances, tweeted out a long explanation of his vote on the Ukraine resolution. “The resolution contains an open ended call for additional and immediate ‘defensive security assistance.’ This term is so broad that it could include American boots on the ground or, as some of my colleagues have already requested, US enforcement of a no-fly zone,” Massie wrote. He also objected to the resolution’s condemnation of Belarus for its involvement in the invasion, and to the call to “fully isolate the Putin regime economically,” saying that such extreme sanctions would “hurt low-income US citizens who are already reeling from inflation. Innocent people in Russia, many of whom oppose Putin’s aggression, would suffer under crippling sanctions, possibly turning them against us.” Massie also suggested that hitting Putin too hard with sanctions might “incit[e] him to resort to drastic measures such as escalating the weapons employed or the people targeted.”
Gosar didn’t offer as lengthy an explanation of his vote, but he did tweet this non sequitur:
Rosendale has been silent, but in view of the Ukraine resolution’s lines about assisting refugees, it’s worth noting that he vocally opposed the resettlement of 75 Afghan refugees in Montana.
Maybe the only surprise here is that more Republicans didn’t vote against supporting Ukraine. After all, when the House voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the officers from the Capitol Police and the D.C. Metropolitan Police, Gosar, Massie, and Rosendale were just three of the 21 Republicans who voted against it. You might expect more of the other 18 to have joined them in opposing this resolution, particularly in light of how the immediate Republican response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was as much about attacking President Joe Biden as about condemning the invasion, and how several prominent Republicans have refused to condemn Donald Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin.
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