Lawmakers from both parties raced this week to condemn Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, denouncing the president Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich Putin Australia, Canada and Japan impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisisThe maneuver as a brazen assault on international law, Ukrainian sovereignty, and stability in Eastern Europe.
But that’s about where the bipartisan agreement ends.
While Republicans were hammering Putin’s march toward war, they also wasted no time in blaming the escalating hostilities squarely on the shoulders of the escalating hostilities. President BidenJoe Biden, Pentagon agrees to request to deploy National Guard ahead of convoy of truck drivers in D.C. Lee Harris discusses past, new CEO of DFC: US and allies hit Russia with more sanctionssaying that his administration paved the way for Russian aggression with a series of blunders in foreign policy, including the disastrous withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan last August.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitchell) Mitchell McConnell Five Fast Foods as Ukraine Crisis Intensifies Schumer requests Senate briefing on Ukraine-Russia conflict Biden calls Russia eager to expand into Ukraine More (Republic of Kentucky), speaking to reporters in Kentucky on Tuesday, said Putin would not have dared to send more than 150,000 troops to the Ukrainian border “had it not been for our hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan.” House Republicans soon joined in the attack, accusing the president of adopting a stance on foreign policy that was simply too soft for discouraging Putin’s hostile plans for Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, President Biden has consistently opted for de-escalation and his tough talk on Russia has never followed strong action,” Republican leaders, including lawmakers, said. Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy, Gov. Reynolds Offers GOP Answer to Biden’s State of the Union Five Questions Before Trump launches social media, Trump praises McCarthy and Stefanek for endorsing Cheney challenger More (California) , Steve ScalesStephen (Steve) Joseph Scales, Judicial Debate: How Sarah Palin Was Left at a Loss by a Jury or by a Judge. (Los Angeles) and Elise StefanikElise Marie Stefanek – Trump Praises McCarthy and Stefanek for Supporting Cheney’s Challenger MUST-Watch Moments to Watch This Week on Capitol Hill Trump Endorses Stefanek’s Reelection Bid More (New York), in a statement.
Across the aisle, Democrats are singing a very different tune, praising Biden and his administration for moving quickly to unite NATO and other key allies in Europe and beyond, many of whom joined the United States this week in adopting tough new economic sanctions on Moscow.
“These combined steps demonstrate that the United States and our allies are not misled in our determination to inflict severe and painful consequences on Russia in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” the House Majority Leader said. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton Hoyer Leaving White House Audiovisual Director Pelosi did not say whether she would run for House speaker again if Democrats win: ‘It’s not a question’ looming questions about how to form the congressional staff union More (D-Md.).
The divergent partisan response highlights how much cooperation on Capitol Hill has ebbed in recent years, even when it comes to foreign policy matters such as Russian aggression, which stood during decades of the Cold War as a unifying force across a wide range of political opinions. .
It also reflects the sharp shift within the Republican Party on matters of foreign policy since the advent of the former President TrumpQuincy Institute CEO Donald Trump: Negotiators ‘very close’ to agreement on new Iran nuclear deal Cheney: Trump’s ‘flatter’ about Putin helps our enemies Five tips as Ukraine crisis deepens Morewhose slogan “America First” challenged the muscular approach to international affairs promoted by the more hawkish Republican Party leaders who preceded it — but also earned him legions of followers fed up with Washington’s involvement abroad, not least the long and costly conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These internal tensions in the Republican Party came to light this week, in the wake of Putin’s decision to recognize two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as sovereign entities separate from the democratically elected government in Kiev.
One camp of the traditional Republicans is represented by the senator. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin Graham Biden, Allies Unleash Sanctions on Russia McConnell said he did not believe Biden’s announcement of a black woman nomination for Scottos membership was “inappropriate” Memo: Biden prepares for influence as Russia nears abyss More (Republika Srpska) and Actor. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynne Cheney Cheney: ‘Trump’s cajoling of Putin’ helps our enemies Supreme Court deals Supreme Court deals for Trump’s bid to thwart Supreme Court Jan. 6 Supreme Court rejects Trump’s appeal in dispute with House committee Jan. 6 January more (R-Wyo.), she lobbied hard to counter Putin’s authoritarian instincts with tough new sanctions, more defense funding for Kiev, and a vigorous display of US military power in the Allied nations of Eastern Europe.
“I want a punishment system from hell,” Graham said during a news conference Tuesday in his home state.
The opposition wing, embodied by Trump and his close followers, is pushing a more isolationist agenda, arguing that the United States has for too long suffered from the costs of playing the world’s policeman.
“I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or the other,” said J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy” who is vying for a Senate seat — and Trump endorsement — in Ohio.
Complicating the reaction from the Republican Party, Trump this week praised Putin’s tactics in Ukraine as “genius,” saying the Russian president’s description of the invading forces as “peacekeepers” was a “smart” and “smart” move.
The praise drew immediate condemnation from members of both parties, Including Cheneywho said that the 45th president’s “cosy” with Putin “helps our enemies.”
“Trump’s interests do not appear to align with those of the United States of America,” she wrote on Twitter.
Despite the divisions, Republicans appear united in their accusations that Biden’s approach to foreign policy — whether in Russia or elsewhere — has exacerbated the crisis in Ukraine, which some fear could lead to Europe’s bloodiest conflict since World War II.
House Republican leaders have flagged a range of areas where they say the administration’s strategy has been a failure, including Biden’s decision last year to waive sanctions imposed on the construction of Nord Stream 2, the $11 billion gas pipeline between Russia and Europe Western.
“Lethal aid was going slowly, anti-air and anti-ship capabilities were not directly introduced, pre-invasion sanctions proportional to the aggression already committed by Putin were not introduced, and Nord Stream 2 sanctions were waived,” the GOP said. Leaders, whose statement was also endorsed by top Republicans on the House Homeland Security, Armed Forces, and Intelligence Committees.
Other Republicans are criticizing Biden on the domestic policy front, arguing that the administration’s opposition to some new oil and gas projects around the country has given undue leverage when it comes to global energy production.
For America to be a diplomatic power, we must be a military power. To be a military power, America must be an economic power. It’s all connected, and President Joe Biden is undermining it all with his extremist agenda to shut down American energy and encourage our enemies like Russia,” the representative said. Kathy McMorris RodgersKathy McMorris Rodgers Night Health Care – COVID-19 Funding Request Faces Resistance – Hill Morning Report – Ukraine, West Waiting for Russian Attack Biden’s Request for COVID-19 Funds Faces Resistance from Lawmakers More (Washington), a prominent Republican member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Biden on Tuesday Announcing a new round of sanctions on Russian financial institutions and some of the country’s richest families. Other world leaders, including representatives of the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan, have announced their own sanctions targeting Moscow.
In another major development, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz on Tuesday blocked approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has been completed but not yet approved by German regulators.
It remains unclear whether Democratic leaders, who control both houses of Congress, will take additional steps to address the crisis legislatively, or allow the Biden administration to tackle it unilaterally.
In the Senate, a bipartisan group has been working for weeks on a package to provide additional funding and military aid to Kiev, while imposing tough new sanctions on a wealthy Russian oligarch allied with Putin. Those talks were halted earlier in the month due to partisan differences between negotiators, but resumed this week in response to Putin’s promised invasion of the breakaway regions of Ukraine.
On the other hand, House leaders are adopting a wait-and-see approach.
“Congress will be prepared to take further action if additional action is deemed necessary,” Hoyer said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian leaders remained defiant, preparing their military for an all-out Russian offensive while appealing to the United States and other Western allies for more help.
At a press conference Wednesday in Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that nothing less than “the future of European security” is at stake.
“The international community’s response to this crime must be decisive, immediate and harsh,” he said.
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