Some conservative Republicans lawmakers have been criticized for refusing to stand or applaud during portions of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Wednesday address to Congress.
There’s a growing divide on the right over Ukraine.
Amid repeated bipartisan standing ovations for Zelenskyy, Axios reporter Andrew Solender tweeted the names of seven “MAGA” Republicans who dissented.
- Solender later noted that that the lawmakers joined standing ovations at the end of Zelenskyy’s speech, but critics nonetheless slammed them as “disrespectful” or even traitorous.
- Following the address, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., posted a video to Twitter saying she opposed sending further aid to Ukraine until “Congress receives a full audit of where our money has already gone.”
- Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., boycotted the address altogether, tweeting beforehand, “I’m in DC but I will not be attending the speech of the Ukrainian lobbyist.”
THE FIGHT ON THE RIGHT
In a sign of the Republican divide over Ukraine aid, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP Kevin McCarthy, on Tuesday made opposing statements on the issue.
- McConnell told reporters that helping Ukraine win its war against Russia is “the number one priority for the United States right now, according to most Republicans.”
- But McCarthy, speaking to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, vowed “no more blank checks” for Ukraine after Republicans take the majority next session.
- On Wednesday night, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said of Zelenskyy: “Where do you get off talking to us like that? Do we hate ourselves so much? Do we have so little respect for the United States of America that we’ll put up with that?”
“Your money is not charity,” Zelenskyy told Congress, apparently appealing to the skeptics. “It’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.”
- Zelenskyy said the world is “too interconnected and interdependent” for America to “stand aside and at the same time feel safe when such a battle continues.”
- President Joe Biden on Wednesday pledged a $1.85 billion security package to Ukraine, including a battery of coveted Patriot missiles.
- The Senate on Thursday passed a $1.7 trillion long-term, government funding bill, including $45 billion in aid to Ukraine’s war effort and NATO allies.