CLAIM: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) claimed Friday that America is at war with Russia and therefore needs to “produce power.”
VERDICT: False. Congress has not declared war on Russia, and President Joe Biden has not committed combat troops to Russia.
Hoyer spoke in the House, challenging the Republican claim that the Biden administration has “cracked down” on home energy production.
“The Biden administration approved more drilling permits in 2021 than the Trump administration approved in its first three years in office. I don’t know how [Republican leader] rationalizes his comments about Biden restricting oil production,” Hoyer said. The Democratic House leader then declared that America was at war with Russia.
“It’s unfortunate that in wartime we spend all of our time blaming our own president,” Hoyer said. “It is unfortunate that when the Europeans put themselves above the objections of many administrations in a place where they were dependent on Russia, Russia has no influence on us.”
“I would like us to leave this and really focus on the enemy. I know there’s a lot of politics here, but we’re at war. We need to generate power,” the Maryland legislator said.
Despite Hoyer’s rhetoric, Congress did not declare war on Russia, nor did it pass a resolution for the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) to allow engagement with Russia.
Instead of declaring war on Russia, Congress worked on a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.
In fact, an AUMF proposed by Never Trumper Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) received no cosponsors in Congress.
Kinzinger’s AUMF resolution would give President Joe Biden the power to wage war on Russia if he determined that Russia used chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
“I present this AUMF as a clear red line so that the administration can take appropriate action if Russia uses chemical, biological and/or nuclear weapons,” Kinzinger said in a statement in early May. So far, the bill has no co-sponsors.
Biden has also rejected calls for a no-fly zone and has always said he will not send troops to Ukraine to fight Russia directly.