House GOP tries to scuttle resolution supporting Ukraine
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Fifty-three Maine House Republicans voted Tuesday against a resolution of support for Ukraine, underscoring a partisan division over U.S. policy of punishing Russia for its invasion and aiding Ukraine’s defense.
The resolution passed 87-54 after House Minority Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham and allies failed to scuttle the vote. One Democrat and all but 11 Republicans voted against the symbolic measure.
The resolution condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “barbarous war” was sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Millett, Democrat of Cape Elizabeth, who spoke of her experience in Ukraine as a member of the Peace Corps.
Millett said 14 million Ukrainians have been displaced and hundreds of children have been killed. “Nothing justifies supporting the extinguishing of a culture, a nation, a people. Nothing,” she said.
But Republicans complained that Ukraine was corrupt and said the U.S. should stop aiding the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
At one point, House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, Democrat of Portland, had to issue a warning against escalating rhetoric.
Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine a little over a year ago. Western allies are channeling billions of dollars to Ukraine fighting against Russia in a war that has upended Europe’s security.