House

The 18 House Republicans who voted against a resolution to support Finland, Sweden joining NATO

More than a dozen House Republicans voted against a resolution on Monday that expressed support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

The House passed the measure, which had bipartisan sponsorship, in a 394-18 vote, with all the opposition coming from the Republican Party. Two Democrats and 17 Republicans did not vote.

Eighteen House Republicans objected to the measure: Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Ben Cline (Va.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas) and Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.).

The measure specifically demonstrates support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO — which they applied to do in May — and urges member states to formally support their push to join the alliance.

Additionally, the resolution opposes any attempts by the Russian Federation to adversely react to the decision by the two Nordic countries to join the military alliance and urges NATO countries to fulfill their 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) defense spending pledge that was agreed to at the 2014 Wales summit.

Passage of the measure came exactly two months after Finland and Sweden applied to become members of NATO and less than three weeks after the military alliance invited the pair of countries to join the group.

The push for Sweden and Finland to join NATO ramped up after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Moscow has since continued its offensive.

Massie said on Twitter on Monday following the vote that “America can’t afford to subsidize socialist Europe’s defense, nor should we. Tonight, I voted against the House Resolution urging NATO’s expansion into Sweden and Finland.”

His tweet included a link to a Newsweek article from March that said only eight of the 30 NATO countries met the guideline of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense in 2021 — a fact that was reflected in the NATO secretary general’s annual report.

Roy made a similar argument in a statement explaining his vote, pointing to the fact that only a small number of member countries are meeting their defense spending obligations.

“NATO is an important military alliance, and it served as a critical bulwark against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. However, our country is $30 trillion in debt, and Congress should not sign off on expanding NATO when more than half its current members aren’t even meeting their defense spending obligations. Further, we have had no briefing on how this would impact US security responsibilities,” he wrote on Tuesday.

“We simply cannot afford to continue to subsidize other countries’ failures to adequately provide for their own defense. Our decisions about military alliances should serve our interests first, and the American people deserve better,” he added.

Massie, Roy and other GOP lawmakers who objected to Monday’s resolution have voted against measures related to the Russia, Ukraine and the invasion in the past.

In May, Massie and Greene voted “no” on three bills connected to the invasion. One compelled foreign entities and individuals under U.S. authority to comply with sanctions on Russia and Belarus. Another called for making it U.S. policy to bar Russian officials from participating in meetings and activities in the Group of 20 and other financial institutions. The third would forbid the Treasury secretary from taking part in transactions related to the exchange of special drawing rights that Russia or Belarus possesses.

Belarus has supported Russia throughout its invasion of Ukraine.

The lawmakers also joined 54 Republicans that day in voting against a bill to suspend multilateral debt payments Ukraine owes.

In April, Massie, Greene, Cawthorn and Roy joined with four progressive lawmakers in opposing a measure urging President Biden to seize assets from sanctioned Russian oligarchs and use the money to help Kyiv amid its battle with Moscow.

Also in April, 10 GOP House members — including Massie, Greene, Biggs, Bishop, Davidson, Gaetz and Norman — voted against the Ukraine lend-lease bill, which sought to make it easier for the U.S. to send military assistance to Ukraine during Russia’s invasion.

Updated July 19 at 1:06 p.m.

Tags Andy Biggs Chip Roy Dan Bishop Lauren Boebert Madison Cawthorn Matt Gaetz Thomas Massie
See all Hill.TV See all Video