A GOP Faction Votes Against Ukraine

US Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) talks to reporters about continued military aid and weapons to Ukraine.


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JULIA NIKHINSON / REUTERS

Congress nearly passed $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, but notably 68 Republicans in the House and Senate voted no. Their arguments are inconclusive and suggest that isolationism is on the rise in the GOP.

The Senate advanced bill 81-11 on Monday after the House voted 368-57 last week. All objections come from the GOP. Some were predictable: Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took the bill hostage last week, speech The US “cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.”

However, he turned down an offer from Senate leaders to hold an amendment vote, and his stunt achieved nothing but delaying the vote for several days. Mr. Paul’s real objections were not financial but philosophical. He imagines a world where America can ignore what rogue forces do, send flowers to the victims, and America will not be affected.

But it’s disappointing to see Bill Hagerty and others make the excuse that America, as Senator of Tennessee, put it“Hurry aid to another country when we can’t take care of ourselves.”

This is not a binary option. The United States has always had problems at home, but it also has interests to protect abroad. The GOP should be the regulator of taxpayer money and it is correct to emphasize that more money for Covid-19 goes separately from Ukraine aid. But denying aid to Ukraine won’t end the fentanyl scourge, and this Congress has splurged on infrastructure.

As GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said over the weekend, “American support for Ukraine’s self-defence is more than just philanthropy.” It is in the national interest of the United States. Ukraine’s brave defense with American help has weakened Vladimir Putin, which means he is less likely to cause trouble elsewhere. Every Russian tank destroyed by Ukraine does not threaten American soldiers.

Western insistence is a warning to other belligerent regimes – China, for example – that imperialism will not be free. However, the belated US leadership of Ukraine has inspired Europe to dedicate more of its right to self-defence and to become less dependent on Russian energy. The Ukraine bill includes billions of dollars to help the Pentagon replenish depleted arsenals and fund US troop deployments in Europe. All of this enhances the security of the United States.

Another objection argues that the aid is a “blank check” for Ukraine. Hard. Much of that will be in military equipment that will be delivered immediately to the battlefield. Some non-military funds — about $5 billion in global food aid — could go to waste. But Ukraine’s economy has been ruined by Russia and needs outside help to keep the war effort going, and the bill spends $8.7 billion on economic aid such as keeping key services running. government.

The $40 billion cost has drawn frustration, not even that it will be recorded in the trillions of dollars that Congress has thrown at Covid. But the larger bill would help Ukrainians get more of the equipment they need on a larger scale and sooner. That spending would be more efficient than having Congress pass a piecemeal bill every month.

The opponents are a minority in the Congressional GOP, and credit Senator McConnell for supporting President Biden’s request. But the GOP’s growing isolationist caucus is a bad sign for the party and risks squandering the Republican Party’s longtime advantage over foreign policy and national security.

Review & Outlook: By invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has united the NATO alliance, which will be stronger with Finland and Sweden as members. Image: Sputnik / TT News Agency / Lehtikuva / Reuters Synthesis: Mark Kelly

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Appears May 18, 2022, print.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-gop-faction-votes-against-ukraine-aid-bill-senate-congress-mitch-mcconnell-bill-hagerty-11652822179 A GOP Faction Votes Against Ukraine

Alley Einstein

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