When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy worked to shore up U.S. support for his country during a whirlwind visit to Washington this week, he delivered an upbeat message on the war’s progress.
Intensifying opposition to continued Ukraine funding from a faction of congressional Republicans largely aligned with the party’s presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is threatening what had been easier approval for four previous rounds of funding for Ukraine, delivering $113 billion.
Republicans for Ukraine issued a report card scoring GOP members on how much they back Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, using their voting records and public statements. The group said most Republicans want to continue funding the Ukrainian war effort.
Tennessee’s GOP delegation is a mixed bag.
Rep. Tim Burchett, who represents Knoxville, Maryville and the surrounding communities, received an “F” and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, who represents the 3rd District from Chattanooga to Oak Ridge, received an “A.”
Burchett has repeatedly voted against funding packages to Ukraine, often saying that there isn’t clear direction on how the money would be spent and that “(America’s) own economy gets worse every day.” Recently, he voted in favor of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have stricken $300 million of aid and was in favor of an amendment that would have prohibited security assistance to Ukraine.
Burchett’s staff did not respond to Knox News’ request for comment.
Fleischmann, on the other hand, voted against amendments that would have cut funding and assistance to Ukraine and has made pro-Ukraine statements.
“Since Russia brutally and illegally invaded Ukraine, Congressman Fleischmann has said that Russia cannot be allowed to win,” spokesperson Justin Doil told Knox News this week. “Stopping Putin’s aggression keeps America safer.”
The report card is part of a larger effort to urge members of congress to support President Joe Biden’s $40 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine.
“By educating GOP voters and Congressional leaders about the need to continue supporting America’s ally, Republicans for Ukraine is mobilizing public opinion behind what was traditionally a bedrock conservative principle: strong American leadership in the world,” the release reads.
Here’s how the other members were rated:
The timing of the report was aligned with Zelenskyy’s recent visit to Washington, D.C., where he sought support for the war effort. It was his second visit since Russia’s invasion, and the Ukrainian president faced a much colder reception among Republicans than he did the first time.
“Now is a pivotal time for Americans, especially Republicans, to support Ukraine,” Gunner Ramer, a spokesperson for Republicans for Ukraine, said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Allie Feinberg reports on politics for Knox News. Email: [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Republicans for Ukraine issues grades for Tennessee’s House members