Virginia had the most representatives voting ‘Nay’ on Monday against a resolution supporting adding Sweden and Finland to NATO. The resolution passed with 394 votes in favor, just 18 votes against, all Republican, and 19 members not voting. Three of Virginia’s four Republican congressmen voted against the measure: Congressmen Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), Bob Good (R-VA-05), and Ben Cline (R-VA-06), while Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) voted in favor.
In a press release, Griffith said that the Senate has the constitutional power to ratify adding the two countries to NATO, but not the House. He said that the resolution also calls for other NATO countries to support adding the two countries.
“I think that goes well beyond the House’s jurisdiction,” Griffith said.
The House of Representatives passed Congressman Gerry Connolly’s (D-VA-11) resolution supporting NATO and calling on President Joe Biden to support establishing a Center for Democratic Resilience (CDR) within NATO. The resolution received Democratic support and significant support from Republicans, but 30 percent of House Republicans voted against the bill, including half of Virginia’s Republican congressmen.
“Our commitment to shared democratic values is what distinguishes NATO from other military alliances,” Connolly said in a Tuesday press release. “Without it, NATO is just another military block that does not like Russia. This commitment cannot remain purely aspirational or rhetorical. It must be operationalized. This is why we believe that we need formal architecture in NATO itself. There are divisions and units within NATO dedicated to collective defense, terrorism, hybrid warfare, cyber, climate change, and all other security challenges. But after 72 years, there’s not even a broom closet in NATO headquarters dedicated to democratic institution building.”
Virginia’s entire congressional delegation, Republicans and Democrats, voted Wednesday in favor of a ban on Russian energy imports. The bill passed 414 to 17, with two progressive representatives and several America-First Republicans voting against the bill.
“Tonight, I voted to send a unified message to Vladimir Putin that we do not wish to enrich Russia as it continues its unjustified invasion into Ukraine. Unfortunately, this legislation and President Biden’s ban will have little practical effect on Russia’s energy profits without a unified effort from our friends in Europe. I call on the Biden Administration to do more to rally the alliance he claims to have built to this cause and impose real economic sanctions on Russia,” Congressman Bob Good (R-VA-05) said in a press release.
U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers to introduce legislation to help eliminate the current processing backlog of U.S. passport applications.
As economies around the world slowly begin to reopen, the State Department has witnessed a dramatic surge in passport applications and renewals, which has led to a jam of close to 2.2 million applications and has greatly extended the time to receive the document required for international travel.