Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) presented a proposed amendment during Congressional debate this week that would block U.S. security assistance to Ukraine amid the latter’s ongoing war against Russia, which launched an extensive invasion of the smaller country early last year. The U.S. help has consisted of a steady supply of weapons throughout the more than a year of this conflict.
Opposition from MAGA Republicans to the prospect of the U.S. providing such help has been consistent, but it’s not catching on inside the Republican Party. In the House on Thursday, a full 358 members — including many Republicans — rejected the amendment sponsored by Gaetz, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Though the idea didn’t make it out of that committee, Gaetz used that other position of his to previously push the idea of authorizing — though not necessarily using — military force against Chinese assets in Cuba, sparking outrage.
In other words, these Republicans aren’t necessarily opposed to U.S. military action as a rule. Some, like the obviously prominent Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, have clamored even for military incursions targeting Mexican territory to go after criminal drug cartels operating in that country, which is a longstanding strategic ally of the United States. Some Republicans have even formally introduced a proposed authorization for the use of military force that would provide for such action, and Greene is predictably among those to have attached her name.
That move was sponsored by Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw, and the idea — which some have observed could directly and indirectly imperil American lives — has found support elsewhere in GOP politics as well, including from Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Donald Trump, the latter of whom remains the clear favorite for the 2024 GOP presidential nod.
Elsewhere in Congress this week, members broadly rejected amendments on Ukraine from Greene, including a proposal that would have stricken $300 million worth of U.S. assistance for the country’s ongoing defense.