Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy addressed Congress on Wednesday to standing ovations.
Representatives Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz were seen sitting with their phones through one of them.
Both are openly opposed to US military aid to Ukraine and want to block further payments.
Representatives Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz remained seated and did not applaud as other lawmakers gave Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a standing ovation as he addressed Congress.
Zelenskyy spoke before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. It marked his first visit outside Ukraine since the invasion of Russia began in February.
While Boebert and Gaetz were in attendance, neither of the MAGA Republicans seemed impressed.
In his speech, Zelenskyy declared that “Ukraine is alive and kicking” and touted the strength of the US-Ukrainian alliance.
He also implored the United States, Ukraine’s biggest military backer, to continue sending aid to help its military oppose Russia.
He received standing ovations at various points in the speech. Cameras captured Gaetz and Boebert sitting for about 38 minutes after the speech.
The applause came after Zelenskyy described the burgeoning military alliance between Russia and Iran, and called for Iran to be stopped before it attacked other US allies.
Watch the moment here:
Boebert doesn’t seem too interested in the speech. pic.twitter.com/grOEaxwtZd
—Acyn (@Acyn) December 22, 2022
Other Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, were seen standing up to applaud Zelenskyy at other points in his speech.
Gaetz and Boebert were seen standing with other members of Congress at another point in the speech. It is not clear if they applauded.
Both Gaetz and Boebert have strongly criticized the United States spending money on military equipment for Ukraine, and on Wednesday they reiterated their belief that such aid should stop.
Boebert said on Twitter after Zelenskyy’s speech, she wants a “full audit” of US aid spending before she supports sending more money.
Gaetz On twitter He praised Zelenskyy’s work for his citizens, but said it was wrong for American politicians “to hemorrhage billions of dollars while our country is in crisis.” He said Zelenskyy’s speech did not change his mind.
Gaetz was one of 10 Republicans who voted in Aprill against a bill that would make it easier for the US to send military equipment to Ukraine.
The United States is making efforts to control how its contributions to Ukraine are used. The The Pentagon is already monitoring US weapons and contracts given to Ukraine for signs of fraud.
Also sent weapons experts to Ukraine to inspect the equipment in person. Authorities have said they see no evidence of aid misuse, though they also cautioned that it is difficult to keep close track of all equipment used in a war zone.
Boebert and Gaetz have been a small minority skeptical of aid to Ukraine since the war broke out. But the new Congress may bring change in January, as control of the House passes to the Republican Party.
Republican leaders in Congress have pledged to increase oversight of aid to Ukraine, and many lawmakers including Boebert and Gaetz have said they will keep up the pressure.
Biden has repeatedly said that the United States will continue to support Ukraine.
More recently, he told Zelenskyy on Wednesday that it would support Ukraine “as long as it is necessary”.
Zelenskyy told Congress on Wednesday of the spending: “Your money is not charity. It is an investment in global security and democracy that we manage in the most responsible way.”
The Independent also reported that Boebert and Gaetz skipped a security check when they were going to listen to Zelenskyy’s speech.
Read the original article at Business Insider