Over Half of House Republicans Did Not Attend Zelensky’s Speech In Front of Congress
According to a report by The Hill, 86 out of 213 House Republicans attended Zelensky’s speech at the Capitol. Although, as Dave DeCamp of Antiwar.com noted, some of the Republicans were trying to get a headstart on Christmas travel, roughly a third of House members had active letters to cast proxy votes on December 21, 2022. This shows that there is a growing portion of Republicans who are against sending military aid to Ukraine.
Prior to Zelensky’s speech, Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie went on Twitter to post that he would not be attending the address of a “Ukrainian lobbyist.” Several Republicans who attended the speech were found to be sitting during times when the majority of Congress was giving the Ukrainian leader a standing ovation, which includes Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz and Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert.
Following Zelensky’s speech, Boebert posted a video on Twitter stating that she wouldn’t back “sending additional money to this war” until “Congress receives a full audit of where our money has already gone.”
Gaetz published a statement that said Zelensky “should be commended for putting his country first, but American politicians who indulge his requests are unwilling to do the same for ours.” Gaetz stressed that the speech did not change his position on “suspending” aid to Ukraine.
Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson, who was present at Zelensky’s speech, said his speech was barking up the wrong tree. “We should be focused on trying to contain the war, not expand the war. And this kind of sends the message we’re kind of OK with expanding the war. And I think we should be sending a different message,” he stated.
Boebert, Davidson, Gaetz, Massie, and 53 other House Republicans voted against a $40 billion Ukraine bill that was passed back in May. DeCamp noted that “Since then, new aid for Ukraine has been rolled into other massive spending bills, including the new $45 billion that was packed into the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill the Senate passed on Thursday.”
Although there are dissenting opinions among Republicans with regards to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, most congressional Republicans still support sending military aid to Ukraine. Moreover, Republican leadership are superhawks on the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.
Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, who is expected to head the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2023, has taken the Biden regime to task for not delivering Ukraine more lethal and longer-range weapons.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell said earlier this week that sending military aid to Ukraine was the “number one priority” of most Republicans in Congress as the Senate passed the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill without much opposition.
Make no mistake about it, there needs to be a radical change in Republican leadership if the US is going to have a more reasonable foreign policy. The present crop of Republican leaders are just one wing of the interventionist bird of prey that‘s nested in DC.