U.S. Congressmen Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix/Gage Sizemore/Flickr
Opinion: The populist right – including most of Arizona’s Republican congressional delegation – opposes helping Ukraine. But their reasons are a muddle.
By Robert Robb | Arizona Republic
There is a rare bipartisan consensus in Congress in favor of U.S. assistance to Ukraine to combat the Russian invasion, as there is in the country.
The latest tranche of $40 billion in aid was approved in the House by a 368 to 57 margin and in the Senate 86-11.
All the no votes were Republican, but the overwhelming majority of Republicans supported the measure. Among just Republicans the margin was 149-57 in the House and 38-11 in the Senate.
Arizona was disproportionately represented in populist right opposition to assisting Ukraine. Among Arizona’s GOP delegation, only David Schweikert voted for the bill. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and Debbie Lesko all voted no.
Why Biggs, Gosar said they were opposed
Biggs posted a Twitter video expressing his opposition. Gosar issued a series of guttural tweets grunting his.
Both referenced supposedly neglected domestic priorities – predictably, and with some justification, stressing border security. Biggs also, oddly enough, cited the the baby formula shortage.
Biggs objected to some of the assistance going to prop up the Ukrainian government and complained that the Biden administration had no strategic objectives for which the aid was intended to achieve.
Gosar flatly asserted that: “Ukraine is not our ally. Russia is not our enemy.”