House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has indicated that if Republicans retake control of the House in next month’s midterm elections, the GOP will likely oppose sending more aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia, the Washington Post reports.
The US has authorized upward of $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, along with over $18.2 billion in security assistance given since January 2021. In May, the Senate voted to finalize over $40 billion in new military and humanitarian assistance – a package which many Republican lawmakers voted against. On Friday, an additional $725 million in security assistance was announced – including more ammunition for HIMARS rockets, precision-guided artillery rounds, antitank weapons and Humvees, according to the Pentagon.
“There’s the things [the Biden administration] is not doing domestically,” McCarthy told Punchbowl News. “Not doing the border, and people begin 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.”
McCarthys comments come days after the latest NYT/Siena college poll reveals that just 2% of likely voters think the war in Ukraine is the most important issue facing the country, while 44% think the economy and inflation are the two two issues. Of the 2% that said Ukraine, 3% voted for Biden in 2020 and 1% voted Trump.
Notwithstanding GOP war hawks like Mitch McConnell (R-KY), McCarthy isn’t the only Republican who’s publicly opposed more Ukraine aid.
“I do think that we have to get to a point, and this is where we do disagree, we’ve got to stop the money spigot to Ukraine eventually,” said J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist and author who’s in a close race for a US Senate seat in Ohio, adding that he wants “the Ukrainians to be successful,” but not through more US funding.
“We cannot fund a long-term military conflict that I think ultimately has diminishing returns for our own country,” he told ABC, adding “I think we’re at the point where we’ve given enough money in Ukraine, I really do. … The Europeans need to step up. And frankly, if the Ukrainians and the Europeans, more importantly, knew that America wasn’t going to foot the bill, they might actually step up.”
Meanwhile, Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters said in May that the money would be better spent securing the southern border with a wall.
“Under Joe Biden, it’s always America last,” he said in a video. “Let’s be clear about what this means. It means no cease-fire. It means another foreign war where we pay for everything. Many more thousands of people will die. There’s no resolution, no end in sight. The risk of course is that a proxy war can escalate into an all-out nuclear war between nuclear powers.”
In New Hampshire, Republican Senate candidate Don Bolduc said last week that more spending is not the answer to improving conditions in Ukraine.
“We must hold the administration accountable,” he told New Hampshire’s ABC affiliate. “We just can’t print this money. It’s money we don’t have, and it’s equipment that’s being thrown at a problem without any strategy, without any policy, and it’s not going to get the job done.”
These Republicans could join Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who in May temporarily held up $40 billion of aid to Ukraine, saying, “you can’t save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.“
Nevada Republican Senate nominee Adam Laxalt tweeted in May that the $40 billion U.S. aid to Ukraine was a “shockingly abhorrent proposal.” -WaPo
After McCarthy’s comments, outgoing never-Trump RINO Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) tweeted “What in the absolute bloody hell is happening to @GOPLeader,” while Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned that if the GOP wins back the house, Ukraine aid would be in jeopardy.
“I just see a freight train coming, and that is Trump and his operation turning against aid for Ukraine,” he told MSNBC. “House Republicans, if they were to take the majority, being preternaturally against anything Joe Biden is for — including the war in Ukraine — and there being a real crisis where the House Republican majority would refuse to support additional aid to Ukraine.”