Lawmakers showed solidarity with Ukraine during Tuesday’s State of the Union address by donning the country’s blue and yellow flag colors and ribbons while Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert wore a ‘Drill Baby Drill’ outfit – referring to her call for the US to support its own energy needs.
While President Joe Biden laid out his agenda for the county during his first State of the Union address Tuesday evening, many lawmakers used fashion as a way of supporting the Ukrainian people as they fight back against Russian invasion.
Several lawmakers showed their solidarity with Ukraine by wearing the colors of their flag – blue and yellow – while others wore brightly colored pins and scarfs.
Republican Senator Joni Ernst showed solidarity with Ukraine in a blue blazer and a yellow flower pin during Tuesday’s State of the Union address
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed her support with a pin with a combination of the Ukrainian and U.S. flags
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was seen wearing a Ukrainian flag in his pocket before the State of the Union address
Republican congresswoman Lauren Boebert made a statement in support of increased drilling for petroleum and gas with a ‘drill baby drill’ outfit at Biden’s State of the Union address
With the State of the Union back to a full crowd, Boebert walked into the chamber with a ‘Drill Baby Drill’ dress on to push for American energy independence
The Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova (pictured left) attended the State of the Union as guest to first lady Jill Biden holding a Ukrainian flag
Democratic lawmakers take a selfie in their pro-Ukraine garb. From L-R: Lisa Blunt Rochester, Terri Sewell, Brenda Lawrence and Hakeem Jeffries standing behind them
The Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova attended as guest to first lady Jill Biden and waved a small Ukrainian flag while she received a standing ovation from members of Congress and all others in attendance.
Many in the first lady’s visitor box were also wielding mini Ukrainian flags.
The first lady wore her support for Ukraine on her sleeve.
Jill Biden donned an indigo silk dress with Ukraine’s national flower and symbol of resistance, the sunflower, embroidered into the wrist.
The White House said: ‘In a sign of support for the Ukrainian people, the FLOTUS has an embroidered appliqué of a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine, sewn to the sleeve of her dress near her wrist.’
Squad member Cori Bush made a non-Ukrainian political fashion statement with a red t-shirt with the number 18,000 across it. Hers refers to the number of people ‘whose clemency petitions are sitting in a backlog, waiting for POTUS’s review’
Many lawmakers wore bright yellow and blue to show their solidarity with Ukraine. Pictured Center: Ukrainian-born Representative Victoria Spartz speaks with Steve Scalise (left) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (right)
Senator Elizabeth Warren wears a sunflower pin, Ukraine’s national flower, in support of the country as it deals with an invasion from Russia
California Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is pictured wearing blue and a pin in support of Ukraine during Tuesday’s State of the Union address
Meanwhile president Biden, who began his address saying’ ‘We the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people,’ kept things simple with a blue tie.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi showed her support with a pin with a combination of the Ukrainian and U.S. flags, while Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was seen donning traditional Ukrainian clothing in the chamber.
But while most used their fashion to signal support for Ukraine, Republican congresswoman Lauren Boebert chose to make a different kind of political statement.
Boebert stood out with an outfit that read ‘Drill Baby Drill’ on the back- a reference to Republicans push to get Biden to roll back restrictions on domestic energy production and restart the Keystone XL pipeline.
The congresswoman made the statement in support of increased drilling for petroleum and gas. She has consistently pushed for energy independence.
‘Ramping domestic energy production will tame inflation, boost our economy, and secure the safety and security of the United States of America and our allies,’ Boebert told Fox News.
She drew some boos after she interrupted the President to blame him for the deaths of 13 American service members during the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal last August when he talked about the flag-draped coffins of those who had served their country.
Biden was at the time recalling how his eldest son died of brain cancer and pushed for more legislation to help service members exposed to burn pits.
‘When they came home, many of the world’s fittest and best-trained warriors were never the same. Headaches. Numbness. Dizziness. A cancer that would put them in a flag-draped coffin. I know,’ Biden said
‘You put them in there, 13 of them,’ Boebert appeared to shout. Kamala Harris seemed to grimace but Biden carried on his speech.
‘One of those soldiers was my son, Major Beau Biden,’ Biden went on. ‘We don’t know for sure if a burn pit was the cause of his brain cancer, or the diseases of so many of our troops, but I’m committed to finding out everything we can.
Boebert later tweeted about her outburst and said she couldn’t ‘stay silent’.
‘When Biden said flag draped coffins I couldn’t stay silent. I told him directly he did it. He put 13 in there. Our heroic servicemen and women deserve so much better.’
Boebert was also heard chanting Build the Wall with Marjorie Taylor Greene when he discussed immigration policies and at one point the pair turned their backs.
Boebert has previously donned a ‘Let’s go Brandon’ dress to meet former President Trump at a Mar-a-Lago event. The term is slang for ‘F*** Biden’
Squad member Cori Bush also made a political fashion statement with a red t-shirt with the number 18,000 across it, referring to the number of clemency petitions sitting in a backlog waiting for Biden’s review.
The Missouri Congresswoman, who is a big supporter of defunding the police, tweeted about her ‘fit’ prior to the State of the Union address
‘My State of the Union fit,’ she tweeted. ‘18,000. That’s how many people whose clemency petitions are sitting in a backlog, waiting for POTUS’s review. Justice delayed is justice denied. President Biden, we’re urging you: start granting clemency now.’
Biden spent the first 12 minutes of his address to the nation from Congress speaking about Russia and their invasion of Ukraine – as well as the U.S. response.
‘He has no idea what’s coming,’ Biden warned in a deviation from the prepared script that was sent out ahead of the remarks.
‘Six days ago, Russia’s Vlaidmir Putin sought to shake the very foundation of the free world, thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated,’ Biden said with Vice President Kamala Harris sitting behind his right shoulder and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on his left.
Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was seen donning traditional Ukrainian clothing in the chamber
Boebert (left) was also heard chanting Build the Wall with Marjorie Taylor Greene (right) when he discussed immigration policies and at one point the pair turned their backs
Representative Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, wears a pin in support of Ukraine at Tuesday’s State of the Union address
‘He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over,’ Biden continued of Putin. ‘Instead, he [was] met with a wall of strength he never anticipated or expected – he met the Ukrainian people.’
Biden’s remarks came as new blasts rocked Kyiv Tuesday night after Russia was slammed as ‘barbaric’ for bombing a TV tower near the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial in Ukraine’s capital on the site of one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Holocaust.
‘We in the United States of America stand with the Ukrainian people. Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson – When dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos, they keep moving.’
Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the way world governments would rally against his invasion of Ukraine.
He also announced the U.S. is closing its air space to Russian aircraft – taking the directive from partner and ally countries that already enacted their own ban on Russian aircraft in their air space.
Lawmakers at the Capitol were told Monday that even though all signs lead toward Russia ultimately losing the war it kicked off in Ukraine, it’s likely to last up to 20 years.
The United Kingdom’s foreign secretary estimated a 10-year conflict between given the durability of the Ukrainian resistance.
At least 136 civilians have been killed by Russia’s assault as of Tuesday, according to the United Nations’ human rights office – among those casualties are 13 children.
Biden’s address was initially intended to focus on his domestic agenda, especially after he failed to get through Congress his Build Back Better plan, but with the waging conflict between Russia and Ukraine, priorities have shifted.
During his remarks to the nation Tuesday night, Biden took credit for the sweeping global sanctions that hit Russia following its full-scale invasion into Ukraine last week.
‘Together along with our allies we are right now enforcing powerful economic sanctions,’ Biden said Tuesday night.
He then listed some of those sanctions: ‘We’re cutting off Russia’s largest banks from the international financial system, preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian Ruble, making Putin’s $630 billion ‘war fund’ worthless. We are choking off Russia’s access to technology that will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come.’
‘Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have built billions of dollars off this violent regime no more,’ Biden continued. ‘The United States Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs. We’re joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets.’
‘We’re coming for you ill-begotten gains,’ he warned.
At the very end of Biden’s speech, which lasted almost one-hour on the dot, the president said: ‘Go get ’em.’
It’s unclear what the president was referencing, but with the continued conflict in Eastern Europe, many suggested he could be referencing more sanctions and responses to Russia attacking Ukraine.
Several of Kyiv’s neighborhoods are currently under attack, according to local reports. The Kyiv Independent reported at 11:29 p.m. local time (4:29 p.m. EST) that Russian bombs have struck Vyshneve, a town outside the capital.
It also said the residential neighborhoods of Rusanivka, Kurenivka and Boiarka – as well as the area near Kyiv International Airport – were coming under attack. Rusanivka in particular is very central.
It also reported a loud explosion was heard at Bila Tserkva, a city in Kyiv Oblast, when a duel depot was attacked, according to the UNIAN news agency.
The locations of the reported attacks suggest Russian forces are tonight closing in from multiple sides of the capital, particularly from the west. They come as a 40-mile long Russian military convoy inches closer to Kyiv.