WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine on Monday drew a variety of attacks from congressional Republicans who criticized his support for the war-torn country and accused him of neglecting issues back at home.
“You should be standing with East Palestine — an American town in your own country that needs your help,” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., in a reference to the Ohio town where a train derailment and chemical leak this month caused thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes and raised environmental concerns.
Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine in what the White House said was a show of support and solidarity for the country battling for its survival after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded nearly a year ago. But Republicans sought to use the images to highlight their issues with Biden.
“When our border is in crisis, Joe Biden goes home to nap in Delaware. When Ohio burns with toxic chemicals, Biden’s admin says everything is fine. So on Presidents’ Day, I’m not surprised that Biden is ditching America for Ukraine. He ditched America’s interests since the start of his presidency. They can keep him!” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., tweeted.
The President’s Day criticism, much of which came as Biden was still in the war zone, echoed Republicans who have accused Biden of neglecting the U.S. southern border and bearing some responsibility for the war in Ukraine.
In January, Biden visited the U.S.-Mexico border, where there has been an influx of migrants from Central America seeking asylum. Biden hasn't visited the site of the Ohio trail derailment, but federal officials were on the ground within hours, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan was in East Palestine last week.
“So it takes two years for Joe Biden @POTUS to visit the war zone he created at our southern border, but then he goes to see another war zone he created in Ukraine,” Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., tweeted.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who also tweeted a call Monday for parts of U.S. to secede, said the conflict has become a proxy war between the U.S. and China and should be ended immediately.
“The U.S. support for war in Ukraine has been like a U.S. proxy war with Russia. But now it’s becoming more like a U.S.- China war through the Ukraine — Russia war. End it now!” Greene tweeted.
Biden insisted during his visit that the U.S. will remain steadfast in its support of Ukraine and announced an additional aid package worth $460 million, which will include more military equipment and weapons like anti-tank Javelin missiles.
“For all the disagreement we have in our Congress on some issues, there is significant agreement on support for Ukraine,” Biden said.