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Democrats, Republicans Applaud Biden’s Russia Sanctions

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including politicians who are often fierce critics, are applauding President Joe Biden for imposing economic sanctions against Russia, in a rare display of bipartisan support for the commander-in-chief.

The support comes following two straight days in which President Biden enacted a series of economic penalties in an attempt to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from taking military action against Ukraine. The U.S. was joined by a number of allies, including U.K., Canada and Australia, who also imposed sanctions.

These sanctions were designed to directly impact the Russian economy, with the president warning Wednesday that he will “not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate.” The most notable sanction was against the company building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which could have a direct effect on Russia’s petroleum industry while blocking the pipeline’s owners from an estimated $15 billion of value.

President Joe Biden
Drew Angerer/Getty

Following Biden’s announcements, numerous politicians in Washington, D.C., took to social media to express their approval of the president’s decision, in one of the largest displays of bipartisan bolstering since he took office.

Many Democrats reiterated their stance that they wanted the U.S. to continue to provide support to Ukraine.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took to Twitter to call Putin’s actions toward Ukraine “an attack on democracy.”

“I applaud @POTUS for his forceful leadership in imposing the first tranche of swift & severe sanctions to counter Russian aggression,” Pelosi tweeted. “The U.S. & our allies stand together in our unwavering support of the Ukrainian people.”

This sentiment was echoed by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

“Russia’s recognition of Donetsk & Luhansk and decision to send Russian military into Ukraine is a stark violation of Ukrainian sovereignty,” Warnock tweeted. “I strongly support the recent U.S. sanctions against Russia and hope other nations continue to join us in holding Russia accountable.”

Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) applauded the president’s decision during an interview Wednesday on AC360, saying that he did not see the point in waiting to impose more penalties on Russia. Schiff continued by saying that the U.S. should implement the most severe sanctions that they could.

Additionally, Jennifer Rubin, a journalist for the Washington Post, noted that: “Reaction to the sanctions was overwhelmingly positive in foreign policy circles, even among staunch Russia hawks.”

Most surprisingly was the reaction from the GOP side of the aisle, including responses from many Republicans who have long been considered staunch opponents of Biden.

This includes Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The conservative senator, who often criticizes President Biden for his policies, tweeted a rare show of support on Wednesday after the president sanctioned the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

“President Biden made the right decision today,” Cruz said. “Allowing Putin’s Nord Stream 2 to come online would have created multiple, cascading, and acute security crises for the United States and our European allies for generations to come.”

“President Biden has now taken positive steps in both areas, but much more still needs to be done to deter and counter the threat that Putin poses to our allies in Ukraine and across Europe,” he added.

Even with the majority of support being bipartisan, some Republicans expressed their feelings that the Biden administration’s sanctions had come too late.

“It is clear Russia intends to destroy Ukrainian democracy. There should be an aggressive response to recent cyber-attacks against the Ukrainian government,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “Initial responses by the Biden Administration and our Western allies have been inadequate. All the while, Russia rolls forward. Let’s quickly up our game.”

Perhaps the most prominent show of unity among politicians, however, was a letter from 43 members of congress in both parties that implored President Biden to receive congressional approval before involving the U.S. military in the conflict.

“We strongly urge your administration to respect the separation of powers, U.S. law, and Congress‘s constitutional war powers authority,” the letter wrote. “Should your administration seek to introduce U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities…Congress stands ready to deliberate over the potentially monumental implications of such scenarios.”

The letter was signed by a number of Democratic and progressive mainstays. This includes prominent politicians such as Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Also signing the letter were a number of Republicans who are often at odds with the president, such as Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment.

Update (02/23/2022, 11 p.m. ET): This story has been updated with additional information.

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2022-02-23 21:25:27

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