September 25, 2023


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Echoes of Trump, GOP swears over $40 billion to Ukraine

Echoes of Trump, GOP swears over $40 billion to Ukraine

Washington (AFP) – Signs of Republican resistance are escalating more than a $40 billion aid package for UkraineThe re-emergence of the Trump-led isolationist wing of the Republican Party, which comes at a crucial moment like The war against the Russian invasion deepens.

The Senate is expected to begin voting late Monday on aid to Ukraine, pushing the bill toward President Joe Biden’s desk by the end of the week into law. But more vociferous objections from Republicans in Congress are sending warning signals after what happened Rare and united support for Ukraine Because it is fiercely fighting hostile Russia.

Comes as a Republican leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell is leading a delegation of Republican senators to visit The region over the weekend in a show of support, pledged to pay past critics, end the aid package and vote this summer on NATO expansion to welcome Sweden and Finland. The leader finds himself sticking to the more traditional GOP foreign policy approach, in direct confrontation with the “America First” wing of the Republican Party, including Donald Trump, the former president.

“There have always been isolationist voices in the Republican Party,” McConnell told reporters on a weekend conference call from Stockholm. “It won’t create a problem, we’ll get the job done.”

The shift in Congress opens a new political phase in Ukraine’s fight for survival against the Russian invasion, providing a wake-up call to the Biden administration about its strategy as it resists direct US military involvement and relies on votes in the House and Senate. To fund military and humanitarian relief efforts.

As a strong bipartisan majority prepares to approve the latest round of Ukrainian aid, bringing the US total to $53 billion since the start of the Russian invasion, it is clear that Republicans, and some Democrats, are wary of the prolonged intervention and are calling for more fervor. Accountability of the United States’ role abroad. While The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the $40 billion package Last week, 57 Republicans voted against it.

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The most vocal lawmakers insist that Congress will not become a blank check for foreign actions amid domestic needs as they move away from the United States’ longstanding role in defending democracy abroad.

“We have to take care of things here at home first,” Republican Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, a former Trump administration ambassador to Japan, said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

It’s a stronger reaction than it was just a few months ago, at the start of the war in February, when Congress made a rare show of bipartisan unity against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion and rushed to the aid of Ukraine.

It comes with the start of the midterm election season in the United States, with Trump’s influence looming large, especially with Republican lawmakers desperate to endorse and support his campaign and fearful of confronting him.

“We have a moral obligation to pass this aid as quickly as possible,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York State said Monday before the procedural vote.

Trump has done his weight, breaking the civilian norm in the US that past presidents traditionally step aside to allow one president at a time to lead, particularly on foreign policy.

The former president, whose “America First” strategy sought to roll back US commitments around the world and criticized the NATO military alliance facing Russia, complained that Democrats “send another $40 billion to Ukraine, yet America’s fathers struggle to feed them.” children.”

Trump was Impeached by Parliament in 2019 After he withheld military aid to Ukraine and pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky to do a good job of digging up dirt on Biden before the US presidential election, though he was later acquitted by the Senate.

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On the Campaign trail in OhioThe two US Senate candidates, Democrat Tim Ryan and Trump-backed Republican J.D. Vance, have been squabbling over Ukraine’s aid.

Vance, who quipped a few months ago that he doesn’t really care about what’s happening in Ukraine, tweeted last week that Ryan “pays billions in foreign aid while the communities he serves in Congress are devastated.”

Ryan’s team released an announcement suggesting that Vance as a venture capitalist had leveraged a social media platform used to spread Russian propaganda.

The Senate was scheduled to begin voting Monday night on the $40 billion package, bypassing Republican holdouts to push the bill toward approval by Thursday.

The first round of Ukrainian aid, $13.9 billionIt was quickly approved by Congress in March as part of a broader government funding bill. This came before Zelensky addressed a joint meeting of Congress to many standing ovations.

“Tonight, we’re all Ukrainians” during a public debate about passing the bill, Democratic Representative Richard Neal of Massachusetts said.

But as the months go by, lawmakers, particularly Republicans, are getting more assertive in their resistance, asking questions about America’s next strategy.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky single-handedly blocked a vote on the latest package last week as he demanded the inspector general’s report on how the money was being spent.

The libertarian-leaning Paul routinely forbids spending bills with disruption, but he also doesn’t get involved when it comes to foreign policy who wielded significant influence during the Trump era, emboldening the then-president’s instincts against engaging in outside actions.

“While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have,” Paul said in a series of tweets about his blockade.

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“It’s frankly a slap in the face for the millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas and groceries and find baby formula.”

Influential Republican outside groups, including Heritage Action, have raised questions about spending in Ukraine. Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his show last week that he has called the office of every senator to find out their position on the issue, putting pressure on lawmakers.

A longtime advocate of the United States’ commitment to the Western military alliance to NATO and its broader role abroad, McConnell was the top Republican candidate to meet with Zelensky over the weekend in Kyiv.

McConnell said the Ukrainian president and its people were an inspiration while fighting the Russian invasion, and pledged continued US support and swift approval of Sweden and Finland’s requests to join NATO before August.