The U.S. has provided tens of billions of dollars in critical aid and weapons to blockade Ukraine since Putin’s invasion. But will Washington remain Kiev’s most powerful ally after the Nov. 8 congressional elections? Republicans, who have a good chance of retaking the House of Representatives and the Senate in three weeks, are divided internally over further support for Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Kevin McCarthy, the current opposition leader of the House, cast doubt. If its Republicans win a majority, the new Congress will be tough starting in 2023, McCarthy told the news site. Punchbowl News. “I think we’re in recession, people think: We shouldn’t just write a blank check to Ukraine.”
Republicans want more contributions from Europe for Ukraine
McCarthy exudes an isolationist spirit that inhabits the populist wing of the Republican Party. in ‘America firstNow is not the time to invest billions in a distant, foreign conflict — especially with rising inflation at home — under former President Trump’s ideology. For example, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has argued for months in his well-watched opinion piece that Russia, Ukraine (and the rest of Europe) should settle it among themselves.
The old guard of the Republican Party, which traditionally sees a strong role for America on the world stage, resents such aloofness. On Wednesday, Mike Pence spoke strongly against it. The former vice president — who has been estranged from his old boss since the Capitol was stormed by Trump fans — warned that “Putin apologists have no place in the conservative movement.”
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‘Stupid and unacceptable’
The former vice president told the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation that “a growing chorus in our party, including some new voices in our movement, want to cut us off from the larger world.” But, cautioned Pence, “abizing has not worked in the past.”
Since the Russian invasion at the end of February, Congress has continued to authorize military and humanitarian aid to Kiev. Limited opposition came from Republicans. In May, 57 (of 211) Republican representatives and 11 (of 50) senators voted against the $40 billion defense package.
One of those who voted against was Trump loyalist and Senator Josh Hawley. He indicated on Wednesday that a tougher US stance is more expected from Europe. “The United States has spent more on aid to Ukraine than all our European allies combined, with no meaningful oversight. This is absurd and unacceptable.
A version of this article appeared in the October 21, 2022 issue of the newspaper
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