McCarthy hints Republican-led House unlikely to approve more aid to Ukraine


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Republicans could oppose more aid to Ukraine in the war with Russia if they win a House majority in next month’s midterm elections.

Since the February invasion, a majority of congressional Republicans and Democrats have jointly authorized billions of dollars in U.S. military and humanitarian aid to Kyiv as a geopolitical and moral stance against Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

McCarthy could become House speaker if the Republicans win, which he said could end in the Republican-led House.

“I think people are going to be in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” he told Punchbowl News recently. “They’re just not going to do that.”

McCarthy suggested Americans want Congress to focus on issues closer to home.

“Something [the Biden administration] Not domestically,” he said. “Without borders, people start to weigh that. Ukraine is important, but at the same time it can’t be the only thing they do and it can’t be a blank check. “

The U.S. has authorized more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, with more than $18.2 billion in security aid since January 2021. The Senate voted to finalize more than $40 billion in new military and humanitarian aid in May, and Republicans were the only lawmakers to vote against the package — the largest investment to date in Ukraine.

Eleven Republican senators and 57 House Republicans opposed the legislation, arguing that more work needs to be done to explain how the money is spent and to track weapons and equipment shipped to the battlefield.

On Friday, the United States announced an additional $725 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including more ammunition for the High Mobility Rocket System, or HIMARS, as well as precision-guided artillery shells, anti-tank weapons and Humvees, according to a Pentagon statement.

In Kyiv, U.S. midterm elections and need for aid overshadow battlefield gains

While most congressional leadership, especially Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), has been staunchly pro-Ukraine, voters in several states in January are likely to send Republicans eager to oppose aid to the party to Washington. Those wary of foreign aid and champions of former President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda are expected to increase in the next Congress.

In September, venture capitalist and author JD Vance, who is vying for a U.S. Senate seat to represent Ohio, said he wanted “the Ukrainians to succeed,” but not because of continued U.S. funding.

“I do think we have to hit one goal, and that’s where we disagree, we have to finally stop the flow of money into Ukraine,” he told the ABC branch in Toledo. “We can’t fund a prolonged military conflict that I think will ultimately have diminishing returns for our own country.”

Vance added: “I think we’ve gotten to the point where we have enough money in Ukraine, and I really did. … The Europeans need to step up. Frankly, if Ukrainians and Europeans, more importantly, Knowing that the U.S. won’t pay, they might actually come forward.”

Europe has provided Ukraine with substantial military and humanitarian aid.

In Arizona, Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters criticized additional funding for Ukraine in May, claiming the money should be used to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Under Joe Biden, America is always last,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “Let’s figure out what that means. It means no ceasefire. It means another foreign war where we pay for everything. More people will die. There is no solution, no end in sight. Of course the risk is A proxy war could escalate into a full-scale nuclear war between nuclear powers.”

In New Hampshire, Republican Senate candidate Don Borduk said last week that increased spending was not the answer to improving conditions in Ukraine.

“We have to hold the government accountable,” he told the ABC branch in New Hampshire. “We just can’t print that money. It’s money we don’t have, it’s equipment being thrown at a problem without any strategy, without any policy, and it can’t get the job done.”

Those Republicans could join the senators. “You can’t save Ukraine by destroying the U.S. economy,” said Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who temporarily put $40 billion in aid to Ukraine on hold in May.

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalter tweet In May, the US $40 billion in aid to Ukraine was a “shockingly hateful offer”.

The loudest voices on the issue, such as Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, have been outspoken when questioning aid to Ukraine.

A tweet responding to Kremlin language and calling for an end to “gifts to Ukraine” was then deleted at the Conservative Political Action Conference in September. It later issued a statement reiterating its stance on U.S. aid. “We must oppose Putin, but American taxpayers should not bear the vast majority of the cost,” it said.

A September poll by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Republicans and Democrats said U.S. support to Ukraine was “roughly correct” or “not enough”, although 32 percent of Republicans said the U.S. provided “Too much” support. It has tripled (9%) since March. Relatedly, Americans’ fears of Ukraine being defeated and taken over by Russia fell from 55% in May to 38% in September.

McCarthy’s comments on Punch Bowl News raised suspicions in the House of Representatives. Adam Kinsinger (R-Ill.) tweeted at McCarthy: “What the hell happened to @GOPLader.”

senator. Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) warned that help to Ukraine would be in jeopardy if Republicans win the House.

“I’ve only seen one freight train coming, and that’s Trump and his actions against aid to Ukraine,” he said on MSNBC. “House Republicans, if they had a majority, they would very naturally oppose Joe Biden on anything — including the Ukraine war — and the House Republican majority would refuse to support additional aid to Ukraine, which is a A real crisis.”

White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday she did not want to assume what would happen if Republicans took control of the House, but said the president would continue to support the Ukrainian people’s efforts to defend themselves.

“We will continue to work with Congress, continue to focus on the conversation about these efforts, and support Ukraine if necessary,” she said. “We will keep our promises to the brave Ukrainians who stand for freedom and democracy every day. fight.”

Scott Clement and Azi Paybarah contributed to this report.

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