Vladimir Putin has done the impossible. He has rallied Republicans to support Obama, as Majority Leader Eric Cantor has vowed to work with the president on sanctions against Russia.
In a statement, Majority Leader Cantor said:
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violates international law and its long-standing agreements. Russian aggression must cease, and Moscow must withdraw its military forces and cease interfering and undermining the sovereignty and domestic politics of its neighbor. Moscow’s flagrant disregard for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, in addition to its continuing support of some of the world’s most oppressive regimes, should spur a long overdue reassessment of our policy towards Russia.
To deal with the crisis in Ukraine and respond to Russia’s provocation, I have asked our House committee Chairmen to develop plans to assist the government of Ukraine, put pressure on Russia, and reassure allies throughout the world that the United States will not stand idly by in the face of such aggression. Specifically, the House will review how we can expeditiously consider assistance to Ukraine in the form of loan guarantees. I believe there is bipartisan support for such assistance, but we must make sure it is done responsibly and any legislation is not delayed by adding divisive provisions. We should be focused on moving such a package as quickly as possible.
We will also begin reviewing what authorities, similar to the Magnitsky Act, we may provide the Administration so that the President can take actions to impose sanctions on Russian officials, oligarchs, and other individuals complicit in Russia’s efforts to invade and interfere with Ukraine’s sovereign affairs. I have spoken to Administration officials to express our interest in working together to ensure that President Obama has the appropriate tools to impose real consequences on Russia for this aggression.
It appears that Vladimir Putin has done the impossible. He has broken the gridlock in Washington and bridged the partisan divide. Both parties agree that Russia’s actions in the Ukraine are unacceptable, and they are willing to work together to impose tough sanctions.
Rep. Cantor (R-VA) may not want word to get out about his willingness to work with President Obama, but the House Republican leadership is doing the right thing. It will be interesting to see how many Republicans in the House will be willing to put aside their Obama hate, and join them.
Many of the Republicans elected to the House in the last two elections won because of their promise to oppose the president on everything. Due to the radical nature of both the politicians serving in the House and the Republicans voters who elected them, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see some sort of attempt to attach the repeal of Obamacare to any sanctions legislation, tea party rebellion, or any other form of general insanity that has become common in the House.
If Putin was counting on Republican opposition to the president saving him from the consequences of his decision to invade another country, he is in for a big surprise. The price of his actions is increasing by the day, with Democrats and Republicans united in their desire to make the Russian leader pay a heavy price.