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Lawmakers Urge Biden to Get Congressional Approval Before Sending Troops to Ukraine

The president has ordered some forces to be deployed or repositioned to NATO’s eastern flank
President Biden participates in a virtual meeting in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex on Feb. 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images
President Biden participates in a virtual meeting in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex on Feb. 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Forty-three members Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, are urging President Biden to get authorization from Congress before deploying any U.S. Armed Forces to Ukraine.

Why it matters: Lawmakers ranging from progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to staunch Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) have signed onto the letter as the crisis in Ukraine has escalated drastically after Putin recognized two pro-Russian separatist “republics” and sent Russian “peacekeepers” to the territories.

What they’re saying: “We strongly urge your administration to respect the separation of powers, U.S. law, and Congress’s constitutional war powers authority,” their letter reads.

  • “The American people, through their representatives in Congress, deserve to have a say before U.S. troops are placed in harm’s way or the U.S. becomes involved in yet another foreign conflict.”

Yes, but: Biden has so far ruled out deploying U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine, which is not a NATO ally.

  • The president has ordered some forces to be deployed or repositioned to NATO’s eastern flank, but the movements are largely a symbolic show of support for the alliance’s more vulnerable countries.

The big picture: Biden announced on Tuesday what he called the “first tranche” in a series of sanctions imposed on Russia, targeting two Russian banks and the country’s sovereign debt.

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