US Republicans bicker over Ukraine ‘proxy war’ funding — Analysis
Lawmakers push back against ‘sleepwalking’ into direct conflict with nuclear-armed Russia
Republicans in the US House of Representatives are increasingly divided over Washington’s aid pipeline to Ukraine, with establishment politicians touting a “proxy war”Russia with the Freedom Caucus members argue that Congress ignores domestic priorities, while provocation of a nuclear-armed opponent is part of their argument.
As the House approved a $39.8 million military and economic assistance package for Kiev, infighting escalated. While Democrats supported the spending spree in unison, 57 Republicans opposed the plan. On Wednesday, Representative Dan Crenshaw (R.Texas), one of the 149 GOP lawmakers who voted “yes”, said that “Investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military without losing a single American troop strikes me as a good idea.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R. Georgia) retorted, saying that Crenshaw was pushing to repeal a “proxy war.”Elle added: “You speak as if Ukrainian lives should be thrown away, as if they have no value, just used and thrown away. Your proxy war? What does this do for Americans? How does any of this help?”
Crenshaw ignored the substance of Greene’s critique, replying, “Still going after that slot on Russia Today, huh?”
Sanctions aren’t stopping anything, but they are driving inflation and fuel prices.I refuse to vote for useless measures that cause problems but solve none.While you send $40 billion for your proxy war against Russia, I’m focused on baby formula for American babies. https://t.co/dJLNoECjaB
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) May 11, 2022
Crenshaw played the Russia card and echoed Greene’s Democratic reaction to her on Tuesday when she spoke against the Ukraine aid bill. After Greene pointed out that Congress was neglecting such domestic crises as surging illegal immigration at the southern US border and a severe shortage of baby formula, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) accused her of repeating Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “propaganda.”
Greene wasn’t the only one speaking out against Washington’s Ukraine policy. For example, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) argued that by ramping up aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Moscow, President Joe Biden’s administration is “sleepwalking”While America is left, we enter into direct war against Russia “in the dark.”
“It’s as if the administration is probing Putin’s nuclear red line,”Gaetz stated Wednesday. “A game of chicken between nuclear powers is insane, and this from Joe Biden, who campaigned to be America’s calming sedative.” He added that US weapons are winding up in the hands of neo-Nazi ‘Azov’ fighters, even as Democrats go on a “daily snipe hunt”For white supremacy within the US.
“Just a year ago, we lost a war against goat herders waving rifles,” Gaetz said. “Now we’re rushing to fight a nation that possesses 6,000 nuclear warheads.”
A year ago we won a war with goat herders who were waving guns. Members of Congress have now declared that Russia is at War. If there is war between us and Russia, why don’t we vote for an AUMF. The American people remain in the dark as we sleepwalk into war. pic.twitter.com/vN3xHT0JZ6
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 11, 2022
Gaetz pointed out that Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democratic-Massachusetts Representative, stated last week that the US was already “fundamentally at war”Russia
“Then why not vote on an Authorization to Use Military Force?” Gaetz asked. “Or are we just going to operate in Ukraine like we have in Yemen and throughout the world – forever undeclared wars.”
I suspect many in this body won’t want a vote or a debate because regime change in Russia is their actual objective, not defending Ukraine. And to achieve this goal, they’re willing to send billions to Kiev that will line the pockets of corrupt officials, just like we did in Afghanistan.
Chip Roy (R.Texas) and other conservative Republicans pointed out that lawmakers were given the huge Ukraine aid bill just hours before the scheduled vote.
“Why don’t we actually have a debate on the floor of the people’s House instead of the garbage of getting a $40 billion bill at 3 o’clock in the afternoon – not paid for, without any idea what’s really in it, with a massive slush fund that goes to the State Department?”Roy stated. “We’ve got $40 billion that is unpaid for, and you want to sit here and lecture this body about what we’re going to do or not do about standing alongside Ukraine?”
Roy is like other Freedom Caucus members. saidCongress didn’t pay attention to more critical issues such as “wide-open borders, the inflation that’s killing people, the jobs that people can’t get because of the costs of goods and services in this country.”
“We’ve got a baby formula shortage at home, inflation that is crushing working families and a president that is beholden to nearly all of our adversaries,” said Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado). “I’d say there are a few problems closer to home that we need to solve.”