AOC and the Squad Stay Quiet as $40 Billion in Ukraine Aid Sails Through the House
While they did not vote against it, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad” remained
uncharacteristically silent as the $40 billion dollar aid Ukraine package sailed through
In a rare example of unprecedented bipartisanship, the desperately needed Ukrainian
aid package passed in the House by 358 votes to 57 and would have whisked just as
easily through the Senate unopposed were it not for a single Republican dissenter –
Senator Rand Paul.
You would think that AOC, who has voiced opposition to such large-scale foreign aid in
the past, would have had some objection to the whopping $40 billion price tag – and yet
this time, she and “The Squad” remained silent.
No Democrat, including all of the original Squad members – Ilhan
Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan
– and newer “inductees” Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush – voted against it.
However, it was only Bush who, while she did vote for it, had a terse statement from the
far-left. Bush tweeted after the vote that “a large percentage…[will] go directly to private
defense contractors.” She was the only member of AOC’s progressive cabal to speak
out about the bill.
While seemingly hypocritical of their usual “anti-war” stance, with the exception of a few
limited interventions, left-wingers in the Democrat Party have largely refrained from
challenging the Biden administration on its deepening involvement in the war. Indeed, it
was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself who first commented on the war in February
when she tweeted, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is indefensible. The US is right to
impose targeted sanctions on Putin & his oligarchs. We also must work with our allies to
prepare for a refugee crisis on a massive scale. Finally, any military action must take
place with Congressional approval.”
Other Squad members subsequently joined in calls for sanctions, while Jamaal
Bowman released a statement condemning Russia’s “imperialism and fascism.” Ilhan
Omar dissented, fearing that, “A lot of progressives have abandoned their principles of
being anti-war, anti-broad-based sanctions, anti-harmful policies that not only impact us
here in the United States but inadvertently impact the civilians of our adversary regime.”
Still, even Omar toed the party line when it came to the vote.
Is it fear of a midterm shellacking? Why has the usually vitriolic anti-war Left been so
acquiescent? It was only four months ago that AOC was decrying how much the US
Government was hiding the true cost of war in Afghanistan, and, months before that, the
Squad acted in unison to stonewall a spending bill because of a provision to give Israel
$1 billion to help fund its iron dome system.
Now, all that remains of the anti-war resistance in Congress is about as far from a
“progressive” as you can get. The only opposition comes from a lonely fiscal hawk in the
Republican party. As Rand Paul asserted, “This is the second spending bill for Ukraine
in two months. And this bill is three times larger than the first — Congress just wants to
keep on spending, and spending.”