These Are the 8 Republicans Who Voted Against Ending Russia's Trade Status

The vast majority of House members on Thursday voted to end Russia's most-favored trade status in condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war on Ukraine—with only a handful of Republicans voting against the popular legislation.

The U.S., Canada and European allies have implemented stringent sanctions targeting the Russian economy in the wake of Moscow's internationally scorned invasion of Ukraine. In a further step of solidarity with Ukraine, the House voted to revoke Russia's special trade status with the U.S. in a widely bipartisan vote.

As 424 lawmakers voted in favor of the measure, just eight GOP lawmakers voted "no." Those who voted against the effort includes Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Chip Roy of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Dan Bishop of North Carolina and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

Boebert, Gaetz, Greene and Massie
Only eight House Republicans voted against ending Russia's special trade status on Thursday. Above, Representatives Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado), Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) and Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), who were among the eight, listen as Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 21, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

"This bill allows [President Joe] Biden and future Presidents to sanction virtually anyone they choose anywhere on the globe without Congressional approval," Massie told Newsweek in an emailed statement to explain his rejection of the bipartisan legislation.

Roy told Newsweek in a statement that he "generally" supports the "underlying purpose of this bill." He condemned Putin for "actively killing thousands of innocent people in an unjust war" and "destabilizing the world economy." However, the Republican congressman said he has "deep concerns about the provisions of this bill that would permanently empower the President with the unilateral authority to issue sanctions against anyone who he deems responsible for an undefined 'serious human rights abuse.'"

"H.R. 1708 had bad language that could lead to sanctioning 'human rights abusers' who simply hold traditional views of life and family and restrict access to abortion. The bill also does nothing to spur domestic energy production," Boebert said in a statement emailed to Newsweek.

Newsweek reached out to the other five Republicans who dissented, but did not immediately receive responses.

In addition to Russia, the legislation would additionally strip Belarus of its most-favored trade status with the U.S. The bill allows the U.S. to impose new taxes on Russian and Belarusian goods imported into the country. It will now head to the Senate where it also appears to have broad bipartisan support. Biden has voiced support for the legislation as well.

Belarus has been a key supporter of Putin's war against Ukraine. It has allowed Russian troops to use the country as a staging ground for attacks and provided military support to Moscow. Belarus was also one of just four nations in the United Nations General Assembly to vote March 2 against condemning Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Putin launched the full-scale invasion on February 24 after Biden and other Western leaders warned for weeks that an assault was imminent. The U.S. and its allies quickly responded with harsh sanctions targeting Russia and Moscow elite, including Putin. Russia's actions have been denounced by the international community, with 141 nations going on record at the U.N. condemning the Kremlin's invasion.

Meanwhile, the war on Ukraine appears to have failed to succeed in the way Putin and other Moscow leaders had envisioned. As of Thursday, following three weeks of combat, Russian forces have failed to take any major Ukrainian cities. They have been met with fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military as well as from ordinary Ukrainian citizens. The U.S. and Europe have quickly funneled billions of dollars in weapons and aid to assist Kyiv as it battles the unprovoked attack.

Some of the GOP lawmakers who voted against ending Russia's most-favored trade status have faced backlash for their comments on the war. Greene, in particular, has drawn the ire of several prominent Republicans. On Thursday, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming tweeted that her GOP colleague from Georgia is one of the Kremlin's "useful idiots."