MidSouth lawmakers react to White House response to Ukraine invasion


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The White House is currently addressing two nations at war and one of the biggest domestic policy decisions of President Joe Biden’s presidency.

On Wednesday, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators got a front row seat, including a legislator from the MidSouth.

Just hours after Vice President Kamala Harris met with lawmakers, Russia invaded Ukraine. Tennessee State Senator Raumesh Akbari said the White House was buzzing with activity shortly before the attack.

“It felt busy, I think it was a busy day yesterday and in that situation President Biden was evaluating the Supreme Court nominees,” said Akbari, who attended the closed meeting with the vice president. “As we entered the White House campus, we saw Star Jones, who worked extensively on this nomination.”

The meeting was originally scheduled to discuss voting rights, but pressing issues of the day quickly took center stage.

Biden announced sanctions against Russia on Thursday.

“We obviously don’t want to get involved in a war situation, so by introducing these crippling financial measures, your people will soon feel those consequences, so hopefully that will help end unnecessary conflict,” Akbari said.

The president’s actions, however, do not bring the praise of all Tennessee lawmakers.

Tennessee Congressman Bill Hagerty said in part:

President Biden‘s strategy to prevent this invasion has failed. Despite Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s persistent calls for pre-invasion sanctions, the Biden administration decided not to do anything until it was too late and must now change course.”

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