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If the Republicans win the House in the midterm elections, his commitment is to take a hard look at the money the United States is spending to help foot the bill (to the tune of billions in security aid) for Ukraine’s defense against Russian invasion.
Kevin McCarthy, who would likely be the House speaker in January if Republicans win in November, continues to support US aid. But if Republicans win the House, he said there will be no more “blank checks.”
President Joe Biden said McCarthy’s comments show Republicans today “have no sense of American foreign policy.”
“These guys don’t get it. It is much bigger than Ukraine, it is Eastern Europe. is NATO. These are real, serious, serious consequential results,” Biden said Thursday at a fundraiser in Philadelphia for Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman.
Why the next few months are crucial for the future of the Ukrainian military
McCarthy expressed surprise Wednesday that his questioning of aid to Ukraine caused a stir.
“Wouldn’t you want a check and balance in Congress? Wouldn’t you want these hardworking taxpayers’ money, someone to oversee it? he said on CNBC.
It is wrong to paint Republicans with a single brush on this issue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his continued support for Ukraine funding, issuing a statement Friday promising that a Republican majority in the Senate would continue to help Ukraine in its war against Russia.
But McCarthy’s suggestion that a Republican majority in the House could target Ukraine funding may be part of a larger shift in the war. And the division between McConnell and McCarthy on the issue could be a point of contention if the GOP wins control of the House.
McCarthy has also said cutting spending across the board will be the top priority for Republicans if they gain control of the House.
Speaking on Fox Thursday, pundit Laura Ingraham mocked former Vice President Mike Pence for referring to the US as the “arsenal of democracy” and suggested the US military is too exhausted to help other countries.
He had a sympathetic guest in Pence’s colleague in Indiana, Rep. Jim Banks, who said the United States shouldn’t be depleting its own weapons cache to help a country in Europe. Keeping the guns, he said, instead of putting them on the battlefield, would help America stay stronger.
“That is the reality of this moment that we are in today. We can’t put America first by giving people around the world blank checks to solve their problems,” Banks said, echoing McCarthy’s language.
Lawmakers will get another chance to vote on funding for Ukraine, likely this year as part of a broader government funding bill.
The last time the House voted directly on aid to Ukraine, the vote was strongly in favor: 368-57. The negative votes were all Republican.
But you can feel the ground changing as a new wave of Republicans hopes to invade Washington.
Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama he lost a Republican nomination to run for Senate in his state and said he felt attacked for voting to support aid to Ukraine by his opponent Katie Britt and the former Trump adviser. Steve Bannon. It should be noted that Bannon has inspired many of the political positions of former President Donald Trump and has consistently opposed US funding for Ukraine.
“I stand by my vote and I’m proud of it,” Brooks said on Twitter. “Putin must be stopped. At home, the United States must hold political opportunists accountable.”
The United States has committed more than any other country to Ukraine, according to a military, financial and humanitarian aid database. maintained by the Kiel Institute for World economy. As a percentage of GDP, the United States ranks sixth.
It has given a total of $18 billion in military aid to Ukraine since January. 2021, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement last week, while announcing additional aid of $725 million.
From CNN’s report on the most recent $725 million authorized by the Biden administration:
The assistance includes high-velocity anti-radiation missiles (HARM), anti-tank weapons and small arms, as well as ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) and small arms, according to a Defense Department press release. The aid package also provides medical supplies, more than 200 high-mobility vehicles, and thousands of artillery rounds and remote anti-armor mine (RAAM) rounds.
Elon Musk, the billionaire who provided critical Starlink internet service to Ukrainian forces, tried to get the Pentagon to start footing the bill for that service before pulling out earlier this week.
Musk expressed his support for Ukraine but drew criticism when he suggested a peace plan in line with Russia’s interests in a recent tweet. Read more on Starlink from CNN’s Alex Marquardt, who was the first to report that Musk was asking the Pentagon to foot the bill.
Even if Musk will not negotiate a peace plan and continue to provide internet service to the Ukrainians, his recent actions could be another sign of the beginning of fatigue in what has been mostly unified global support. Italy’s new governing coalition is expected to include former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has been on friendly terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
None of this means that there will be less support from the US or the world for Ukraine, but it certainly means that powerful people, and people like McCarthy, who will soon have much more power, are taking a closer look at how much is being spent. .