Divided GOP tiptoes on Biden request for more Ukraine aid

Republicans are considering the Biden administration’s recent request for billions in aid to Ukraine, as the party faces internal divisions over the way the aid is delivered.

The White House last week asked Congress for more than $37 billion in additional aid to Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing incursion. And while some Republicans say they are supportive of the measure, many are still wary of the state.

“It’s a lot of money. I think we should have an open discussion about it,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said Tuesday shortly after the petition was released.

While military aid to Ukraine is widespread among Republicans in both chambers, there is also resistance around other forms of aid and how it is valued.

“There is strong bipartisan support for supporting Ukraine, but I think it’s also important to take into account the dollars that have already been spent,” Sen. John Thune (SD), the No. two senate republicans, said Thursday.

“I think we’re going to have to solve the issue,” Thune told Hill, adding: “This will be figured out one way or another. But a lot of this stuff, I think right now, it’s probably going to be hammered out in the next Congress, my guess.

There has been some pressure among lawmakers to take aid to Ukraine following Russia’s war on Poland earlier this week, where an apparent, errant explosion of a Ukrainian missile killed two Polish citizens.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.), co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer group and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Hill that it is “important” for Congress to consider the request for funding of the administration “as we said. ‘The matter of preparing the budget for this year’.

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Lawyers are focusing heavily on Ukraine’s funding for legislation to pass the government’s lame-duck legislative session, as leaders seek to end all funding deals by the end of the year.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed confidence on Tuesday that Congress will pass a bill on all aid to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

It is uncertain, however, whether the Congress will do everything on the 16th of December. when the funding is due it can pass. It could instead be a continuous solution to push back the closure, with both sides struggling to reach an agreement on the overall shape of the topline for next year.

There were also disagreements among Republicans about whether to delay major decisions about new funding until next year, so that the next Congress will have more say on how the government will be funded in the 2023 fiscal year, which began in October.

It’s adamant that support from both parties will help Ukraine at the time of the lame duck, especially as uncertainty swells about whether the House GOP could block the money next year.

“I think some people are concerned about change in the House,” Sen. John Comyn (R-Texas) said on the Hill on Wednesday.

“I think there are questions about what the House is going to do once it’s changed,” Capito added. “We’ll just see what happens. I can’t predict there.”

A minority of liberal Republicans criticized the aid to Ukraine, while the needs of the US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has previously voted against aid packages to Ukraine, introduced a key resolution on Thursday to hear U.S. aid. Ukraine was sending that part of the general rejection of American aid.

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“I have not decided from the beginning that I will not continue to vote,” he said in a press conference last week.

Fifty-seven House Republicans voted against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine in May, including Greene, and he said he expects the number to increase.

This is likely to include Rep.-elect Cory Mills (R-Fl.), who lent his support to Greene’s resolution Thursday.

“Americans deserve transparency about where their money goes, that’s the job of our elected officials,” he said.

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General has an ongoing audit of how Ukraine’s aid is being spent. The Biden administration, as part of a funding bill to Congress, has appropriated $20 million for “vision and planning” for “an ongoing effort to work with the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and other Ukrainian government agencies on their monitoring, transparency, verification and reporting related to their use.” “American support for the government in Kyiv.

A recent vote to provide support for Ukraine aid has been reported in a downward trend among Republicans. Earlier this month in a poll released by the Wall Street Journal, 48 percent of reported Republicans said the US was doing too much to support Ukraine.

But Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), the ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee, who supports continued U.S. aid, said Thursday that he thinks most Americans don’t feel the stakes of the Ukraine-Russia conflict are against national security.

“If the Ukrainians fail, we estimate the odds of China doing something dangerous in the Western Pacific, rising up in turmoil,” Cole said, referring to concerns among the United States and its allies that China is weighing an invasion of neighboring Taiwan based on America and its allies. partners are fighting together for Ukraine.

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“I think it’s a national issue here and I’ll never be ashamed of people literally fighting for their lives against an inhumane attack that I don’t support in any way, shape or form,” he said. is continued

Republicans worried that the U.S. could be drawn more directly into a wider war by diplomacy after the two deaths in Poland, which unlike Ukraine is a NATO member.

“I think it’s a call to watch how close we are being drawn into this negotiation by NATO,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said on the Hill, referring to mutual defenses among NATO members. Massie is a co-sponsor of Senate hearings with Greene and is a critical supporter of Ukrainian Americans.

“It’s an opportunity for us to soberly see what we would have in reality if the missile had come from Russia,” Massie said.

The explosion in Poland realized the stakes were high as Russia’s attacks were aimed at Ukraine — as Ukraine scored impressive military victories.

National Security Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday that the administration had negotiated a diplomatic deal but would delay it until Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“It is difficult for anyone to imagine that Mr. Zelensky is willing to sit and talk while his citizens are literally being massacred by the Russians almost every day,” he said.

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