In the wake of his sorry performance during the televised impeachment hearings last month, Utah’s Rep. Chris Stewart sank deeper into the Trump vortex on Dec. 3 with his vote on a Russia-related House resolution.
Stewart voted no on House Resolution 546, which expressed disapproval of Russia’s inclusion in future Group of Seven summits “until it respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies.” The resolution passed, 339-71, and all the dissenters were Republicans, supporting President Trump’s shameful advocacy of G-7 absolution for Russia.
This is a resolution that in normal times would generate almost no opposition. It passed out of the House Foreign Services Committee unanimously and received oratorical support from two staunch Republicans, Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Michael McCaul of Texas, on the House floor.
Smith reviewed the history of the matter — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, its subsequent ouster from the G-8 for that violation, and its continued human-rights abuses — and stated that the resolution “condemns Russia's occupation of Crimea and other destabilization efforts in eastern Ukraine, reaffirms U.S. support for Ukraine's territory and sovereignty, and admonishes Putin's assaults on democratic processes around the world. Most importantly, this legislation establishes that Russia should continue to be suspended from the Group of Seven until Putin adheres to the standards of democratic societies.”
And McCaul declared that “we need to stand up to dictators like Mr. Putin. I do think this is not, again, a Republican or a Democrat issue. Standing up against a hostile enemy, Mr. Putin and the Russian Federation, is an American issue.”
Apparently not to Stewart. Instead, he seems more interested in showcasing his robotic fealty to a president who cares not a whit for “the standards of democratic societies.”
Lex Hemphill, Salt Lake City