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Tipsheet

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Claims 'We're at War' with Russia Over Ukraine

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

The Biden administration has emphasized throughout Russia's invasion of Ukraine that we are not at war, while we do provide assistance to the tune of $1 billion just this past week, in the form of military equipment and humanitarian aid. As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly requested a no-fly zone, he's been turned down, with the reasons given we're trying to prevent war. Yet House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) looks to have missed that memo. During comments made at a Rules Committee hearing on Thursday, Hoyer referred to the country being at "a time of war."

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Hoyer doubled down on such remarks too, in case there was any confusion. "We're at war," he said. "We're not physically on the field with Ukrainians, but we ought to do everything we possibly can to make sure they can meet this enemy and defeat this enemy. And we need to be united in that effort." 

The majority leader's comments came in the context of speaking about partisan divides in Congress.

"We ought to all remind ourselves that we are Americans," Hoyer continued. "We may be Democrats, we may be Republicans, we may be something else, but we are Americans. And Zelenskyy was right. We're the leaders. We're the leaders of the free world. And if we sound by our division an uncertain trumpet, the world," he said before dramatically pausing, "will be a lesser place."

It's worth noting, though, that support for Ukraine seems to have unified members from all sides of the aisle, without false claims that "we're at war" that have the potential to be inflammatory and make the situation worse. 

Zelenskyy spoke before a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday morning, where, as Katie covered, he expressed his gratitude for the United States in their assistance thus far. He also repeated his calls for a no-fly zone, or to at least be provided aircraft to defend their skies themselves as an alternative.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday repeated opposition for a no-fly zone during her weekly press conference. 

As highlighted by Mike Lillis reporting for The Hill, Pelosi indicated that "they are all unified with how we go forward. And how they are unified on how we go forward is that we are not going into Ukraine."

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