Feb 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Lawmakers urge Biden to get congressional approval before sending troops to Ukraine

Photo of Joe Biden holding one hand to his chin
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.

Go deeper: Ukraine-Russia crisis dashboard

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