Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that he believes he and other conservatives would separate Ukraine funding from must-pass spending bills.
Massie spoke to Breitbart News as the United States is preparing to send tanks to Ukraine, a move that Biden said in March would result in “World War III.”
The Kentucky lawmaker, who represents the non-interventionist wing of the Republican Party, has long opposed aid and entangling the United States in what is now increasingly becoming a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Massie noted that Americans have increasingly soured on America’s seemingly endless support for Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, and how congressional leadership moved to attach aid to must-pass spending bills such as a continuing resolution (CR) or omnibus spending bill. He described this move as “abhorrent” and “despicable” for our Republic.
America has so far provided more than $113 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine.
Massie said that if you opposed the CR or the omnibus because of the inclusion of the Ukraine aid, “You can be blamed for shutting down the government.”
However, he said things will change now that conservatives have more of a voice in the House Rules Committee. Massie said he believes that he, along with Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Ralph Norman (R-SC), would likely move to separate controversial items such as Ukraine aid from must-pass bills.
“I don’t see that happening again with me and Chip Roy and Ralph Norman on Rules [Committee]. I don’t think you gotta hide these things. In these votes, I think, all we can ask for is separate vote on Ukraine,” he said.
Massie said that Biden will likely receive no more “blank checks” for Ukraine in this congressional term and that congressional support for Ukraine may erode with more isolated, recorded votes on aid for Ukraine.
“I don’t think he’s [Biden] going to get any more blank checks in this Congress. And if he, I mean, if he does, there will be a recorded vote. And if we ended up taking three or four recorded votes on Ukraine, I think each time you’ll see support for the U.S. involvement there diminish,” he said.
Americans have increasingly moved against more aid and sending weapons to Ukraine.
A Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies Study poll from January found that 49 percent of those surveyed said that Congress should provide more to Ukraine, while 47 percent said it should not. The poll’s three percent margin of error puts the two sides in a virtual tie.
A Pew Research Center survey found that 26 percent of Americans believe that America provides too much support for Ukraine. This is a six-point spike from September. This spike largely comes from the growing share of Republicans. Forty percent of Republicans believe that America provides too much aid, 24 percent say the aid amount is “about right,” and 17 percent say it is not enough.
Massie also suggested that separate recorded votes on Ukraine could “expose” that “there’s nobody on the antiwar left anymore.”
It appears that in the face of Biden’s unwavering support for Ukraine, even the most progressive Democrats have not voiced concern about America’s escalation against Russia, a nuclear-armed country.
The progressive “Squad” has even been criticized by their constituents for their lack of concern over Ukraine.
Leftist activists reportedly heckled Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in October, some even accusing her of “voting to start a nuclear war.”
Ocasio-Cortez voted for the $1.7 trillion, 4,155-page omnibus spending bill in December, which granted Ukraine $40 billion in aid.
“Congresswoman! None of this matters unless there’s a nuclear war, which you voted to send arms and weapons to Ukraine,” one town hall attendee reportedly said.
Ocasio-Cortez was once again heckled in January over her Ukraine stance during her first town hall of the new year. Some held signs at the town hall that read “Negotiation not annihilation” and “Stop sending weapons to Ukraine.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was criticized by her constituents as a “warmonger” during an event in Minnesota in October. Facing sharp criticism from Minnesotans, she described herself as “antiwar” and said that her voting to grant Ukraine aid was a move to “help Ukraine defend themselves.”
Most notably, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), withdrew in October a 30-Democrat letter calling for Biden to negotiate with Russia to end the conflict in Ukraine.
Now, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who said that he would not send a”blank check” to Ukraine, noninterventionist Republicans have more influence than ever in the House, while congressional Democrats continue to toe the line on the establishment’s unwavering support for the new “endless war” in Ukraine
And with that influence, they may be able to have a more honest referendum in the House on America’s role in that conflict.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.