GOP Lawmaker Adam Kinzinger has introcued a measure that would facilitate US military intervention in Ukraine.
The legislation, if passed, would give congressional authorization for President Biden to use military force to defend Ukraine should Russia use chemical, biological and/or nuclear weapons.
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Kinzinger, who has been pushing the Biden adminsitration to establish firm red lines in the Eastern European conflict, announced his new congressional resolution – Authorization for Use of Military Force to Defend America’s Allies Resolution of 2022 – during an interview on Sunday.
The congressman said the AUMF would give Biden leverage, and added that the resolution could serve as a deterrent to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US has previously passed AUMF resolutions, including in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and in 2002 for the Iraq War.
Chicago Tribune reports: Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the Illinois Republican said the joint resolution would not be a mandate for the Democratic president but rather a measure that would provide an option for Biden’s administration while also sending a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he pursues war with Ukraine.
“It just says if it is used, (Biden) has that leverage. It gives him a better flexibility. But also, it is a deterrent to Vladimir Putin. If Vladimir Putin wants to escalate with the west, he will. It’s easy for him to do it,” said Kinzinger, a six-term congressman from Channahon who is not seeking reelection.
“Prior to World War II, there were moments nobody ever wanted to get involved and eventually came to realize they had to. I hope we don’t get to that point here. But we should be ready if we do,” he said.
Kinzinger, a U.S. Air Force veteran with missions in Afghanistan and Iraq who is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, said in a separate statement that his introduction of the use-of-military-force resolution came after speaking with Secretary of State Antony Blinken “and hearing his grave concerns over Putin’s use of chemical weapons.”
Kinzinger, in his TV interview, also said he hoped there would be broad congressional support for Biden’s call last week for $33 billion in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine through September.
“Look, we do have outliers and people that seem to show some Putin sympathy, but for the most part Congress is vastly and largely united on the issue of Ukraine. We recognize Ukraine is fighting for all of us,” Kinzinger said, citing some Republicans who have questioned providing U.S. aid to the war-torn country.
“That $33 billion is significantly less than what we would have to spend if we took Russia on directly, so I hope we don’t have any impediments to that at all. I wouldn’t expect we do.”
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