Editorial: Pence, US House cast right vote to aid Ukraine


Leaving a toxic workplace with a long notice period must be a liberating experience. Perhaps that explains Rep. Greg Pence’s recent change of heart. Pence, R-Columbus, who is not seeking re-election, took a long, strange trip to eventually arrive at “yes” on a critical vote to continue our nation’s support of aid to Ukraine. Whatever led him there, it was the right vote.

The U.S. House vote to support $61 billion in aid for Ukraine wasn’t even close. Most members of Congress understand that Ukraine was invaded by war criminal Vladimir Putin’s lawless Russia. With the rallied aid of the US, Europe and our allies, determined but outgunned Ukrainians continue a heroic defense of their homeland and their fledgling national sovereignty.

Not long ago, American support would have been a given for an ally whose people aspire to freedom and liberty against a totalitarian aggressor. Never forget, that is the story of Ukraine.

Yet too many members of the former party of Reagan, which once led with these values, are under a pernicious spell. In Congress, 311 members voted yes on Ukraine aid, and 112 — all Republicans — voted no. Shameful is not a strong enough word for voting to abandon an ally whose people are fighting valiantly for survival.

The awful truth is, Russian propaganda (if not more) has infected the Republican Party and it is dictating policy. The majority of Republican representatives sided with Putin. Those who voted “no” must justify to voters why they chose to betray a besieged ally. The votes of your Indiana representatives on Ukraine aid are printed with this editorial.

AIM Media, whose Indiana news outlets include The Seymour Tribune, The Brown County Democrat, The Columbus Republic, The Daily Journal of Franklin, The Daily Reporter of Greenfield and others, has championed Ukraine and the Ukrainian people who are fighting for their right to exist. We launched aimcares.com so our readers may directly connect to and support international humanitarian charities that are helping the Ukrainian people.

Supporting Ukraine is not a partisan issue. We see no room for equivocation or a lack of resolve in our nation’s support of the Ukrainian people. If Americans honor our historic values of fighting for those who fight for the same freedoms that we hold dear, our people and our nation will continue to support the people of Ukraine until their nation is restored.

That is our view, and we believe our readers agree. And that is why it was so distressing when Rep. Pence in April 2022 told The Daily Journal, “I will not be supportive of any additional military aid to Ukraine.” That was neither leadership nor statesmanship.

Thankfully, something prompted a reversal for Pence, as well as for now-U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, who also had once opposed further aid to Ukraine.

Johnson seemed to grasp this was a moment larger than himself or the agitating pro-Putin members on his party’s right flank who threaten to derail his speakership because they can. Pence and Johnson both voted “yes” on the Ukraine aid bill.

In doing so, they joined the vast majority of Americans who support continuing to give Ukraine and its people a fighting chance.

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