Matt Bush, FISM News
On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) introduced a bill titled “Secure America’s Border First Act,” in an apparent attempt to bring President Biden’s focus back to issues at home.
The proposed bill would, according to Rosedale’s website, “prohibit the U.S. government from providing military and security assistance to Ukraine until the border wall system on the southern border is completed, and operational control of the southern border is achieved.”
A tweet by Rosendale from Jan. 24, in response to President Biden considering sending thousands of American troops to Eastern Europe, details his reasoning behind the proposed legislation:
See my statement on escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and reports that the Biden Administration is considering deploying thousands of American troops to Eastern Europe: pic.twitter.com/CYd9GKYYqZ
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) January 24, 2022
Over the past few weeks, American news has been overshadowed by a growing concern about the buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. While the concern is warranted, this bill highlights what seem to be glaring differences between the Biden administration’s growing concern over Ukraine’s border and his lack of concern with America’s border.
A quote from Rosendale’s website highlights those differences:
It is far past time that American foreign policy actually serves our national interests and puts the American people first. In Joe Biden’s first year in office, we have seen an invasion of over 2 million illegal aliens at our southern border. While our nation has miserably failed to secure our own border and protect our own territorial integrity, we are now being told by ‘America Last’ politicians on both sides of the aisle, that it is our obligation to do so for Ukraine. Before warmongers rush America into another foreign conflict over the border of an Eastern European nation thousands of miles from our shores, at the very least they should ensure our southern border is secure first.
There are, however, politicians on both sides of the aisle who disagree with Rosendale, saying that the focus on Ukraine is warranted.
In an interview with NPR, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and a former FBI agent who worked counterintelligence in Kyiv, implied that a successful Russian invasion of Ukraine would have long-reaching effects:
Ukraine is incredibly important to the world’s interests…If Russia were to successfully invade Ukraine, these troops that are now amassed on the Russian border would now be amassed on the Ukrainian border with Romania and Poland, two NATO members. Vladimir Putin will not stop with Ukraine. Moreover, other bad actors will get a signal – China vis-a-vis Taiwan, North Korea vis-a-vis South Korea, Iran vis-a-vis Israel.
Fitzpatrick went on to compare the current Russia/Ukraine situation with the U.S. defense of Kuwait, where America used military force to send a global message that there were consequences for disregarding the territorial integrity of an independent nation.
Fitzpatrick further added, “The libertarian view of foreign policy is isolationist. I disagree with that. I think it’s a very naive view. If you don’t understand that what happens in other countries impacts not just that region but the world, including the United States, then you haven’t learned the lessons of history.”
If the Rosendale bill is meant solely to bring focus back to the southern border crisis, then it is serving its purpose. On the other hand, if the bill, which is co-sponsored by nine other Republican representatives, signifies a desire to fundamentally change Republican foreign policy, it could be the beginning of a major division in the party.