When it comes to the United States’ response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, much of the work has been done through the executive branch: It’s President Joe Biden and his administration that have imposed sanctions, dispatched aid to our Ukrainian allies, and led an international coalition.
But the legislative branch also has work to do, and as NBC News reported, the Democratic-led House easily passed one such bill yesterday, suspending normal trade relations with Russia.
The bill would revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” status in the World Trade Organization and pave the way for President Joe Biden to introduce higher tariffs on Russian goods such as steel, aluminum and plywood. It’s the latest in a series of punitive actions in coordination with the European Union and the Group of Seven industrial nations after Russia invaded Ukraine last month.
The House is often divided along partisan lines, but not on this: The bill passed 424 to 8.
Naturally, this piqued my curiosity about the members who knew the measure would pass overwhelmingly, but who nevertheless wanted to go on the record opposing the bill, despite Russia’s brutal war against a U.S. ally.
These are the eight members — each of whom are Republicans — who voted “no” on the trade-status legislation:
- Andy Biggs (Ariz.)
- Dan Bishop (N.C.)
- Lauren Boebert (Colo.)
- Matt Gaetz (Fla.)
- Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.)
- Glenn Grothman (Wis.)
- Thomas Massie (Ky.)
- Chip Roy (Texas)
The fact that this octet opposed the bill wasn’t exactly surprising. In fact, one of the striking things about this list is how familiar the names are.
It was just last week, for example, when the House also voted overwhelmingly to ban oil imports from Russia. In all, 15 House Republicans opposed the measure — including each of the members who voted “no” yesterday.
If we look back a week earlier, the House also easily passed a non-binding resolution in support of Ukrainians, which only three Republicans opposed.
As for the Venn diagram, how many House GOP members voted against the non-binding resolution, the ban on Russian oil imports, and the suspension of normal trade relations with Russia?
Just one: Thomas Massie. The Kentucky Republican is perhaps best known for being derided by Donald Trump as a “third-rate grandstander.”