Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a none-to-subtle message to House Republicans Tuesday while panning the lower chamber’s push to decouple support for Israel and Ukraine.While refraining from directly calling out the GOP ploy, McConnell (R-Ky.) said in remarks from the Senate floor that the US would be naïve to ignore how the crises are connected.“At the risk of repeating myself, the threats facing America and our allies are serious and they’re intertwined,” he said. “If we ignore that fact, we do so at our own peril.”“The Biden administration’s defense budget requests have systematically ignored these growing threats,” McConnell added. “The president’s supplemental request to address multiple crises that unfolded on his watch, is a recognition of this failure.”Earlier this month, the White House unveiled a sweeping $106 billion proposal, seeking $61.4 billion for Ukraine, $14.3 billion for Israel, and $14 billion for immigration enforcement.Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has publicly called for the Ukraine and Israel components to be “bifurcated” as he grapples with a GOP conference skeptical of further support to Kyiv.Instead, House Republicans plan to bring up the $14.3 billion in Israel aid later this week as a standalone bill, paid for in part by cuts to IRS funding allocated under Biden’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act — a plan the White House called a “nonstarter” Monday night.“We can’t allow Vladimir Putin to prevail in Ukraine because I don’t believe it would stop there and it would probably encourage China to make a move on Taiwan,” Johnson told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview last week. “We’re not going to abandon them.” However, Johnson also said that Ukraine aid needs more robust oversight, while the war in the Middle East is a more pressing matter.“The House GOP bill is woefully inadequate and has the hard right’s fingerprints all over it. It makes aid for Israel, who has just faced the worst terrorist attack in its history, contingent on poison pills that reward rich tax cheats,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in response to the Republican proposal.On Tuesday, McConnell also made clear his preference for coupling the two aid tranches. “Our colleagues on the Appropriations Committee now have a chance to provide critical resources that our military and defense industrial base to keep pace with growing threats and support our partners,” he said. In contrast with Democrats, McConnell has a more delicate dance to perform, simultaneously advocating for more foreign security aid while avoiding alienating more isolationist members of his conference.The Kentuckian has previously sought to counter GOP Ukraine critics such as Sen. JD Vance of Ohio by stressing further assistance to the Kyiv government will help American industry rebuild the US military with newer and more advanced hardware.On Monday, the 81-year-old Senate Republican leader headlined a speaking event in Louisville with Oksana Markarova, Ukraine ambassador to the US.During his remarks, McConnell decried the “loud voices on both sides of the aisle” who have stood against further help to the besieged eastern European nation.“The path toward greater security for all of us is simple: Help Ukraine win the war,” he said.Meanwhile, a bipartisan quartet of House lawmakers urged Johnson Monday to take up the full $106 billion package for a vote.In addition to negotiating the fight over aid spending, the new speaker has until Nov. 17 to pass legislation avoiding a partial government shutdown.
31 Ekim 2023 - 22:25
McConnell pushes back on House GOP plan to separate Israel, Ukraine aid
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell not so subtly broke with House Republicans over their push to decouple Israel and Ukraine aid Tuesday.
31 Ekim 2023 - 22:25