WASHINGTON — Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie was one of only three congressmen to vote against the House's resolution to "stand steadfastly, staunchly, proudly and fervently" behind Ukraine.
The resolution calls for cease-fire and removal of Russian forces from Ukraine, vowing to provide "significant additional aid and humanitarian relief to Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s aggression." Massie was joined by Republican colleagues Paul Gosar and Matt Rosendale in voting against the resolution.
In a series of tweets, Northern Kentucky's representative said there were "many reasons" he could not vote for the resolution, noting calls for "defensive security assistance" could include the enforcement of a no-fly zone — something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pleaded for but Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said will not happen.
(1/7) I fully support the right of the people of Ukraine to self determination. However there are many reasons I could not vote for the seven page Resolution that passed the House of Representatives today.— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 2, 2022
While Congress largely backs economic sanctions against Russia, Massie tweeted that sanctions would hurt "low-income U.S. citizens" and "innocent people in Russia," as well as possibly encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to escalate violence.
"Crippling sanctions could also drive Putin to become more desperate, inciting him to resort to drastic measures such as escalating the weapons employed or the people targeted," Massie tweeted.
Massie also questioned the resolution's call for continuing support "as long as the Russian Federation continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty," saying the U.S. could be in constant conflict with Russia "depending on the definition of 'violate.'"
Gosar responded to criticism over his vote by tweeting, "Talk to me when our border is secure." Similarly, Rosendale introduced legislation that would block aid to Ukraine until the southern border is secured and said in a statement the U.S. "should put America first."
The Senate unanimously approved a similar measure in February, and Republican Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution Wednesday calling for Putin and his regime to be held accountable.
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