USA: Republicans in the House of Representatives signal a reduction in aid to Ukraine

The head of the House Armed Services Committee, Mike Rogers, suggested on Wednesday that if Congress pes further packages of measures, they will be much lower. He said this after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that in light of the recent debt deal, he would not allow a vote on additional tranches of money for defense and aid to Ukraine. PAP’s congressional interlocutors hope that, despite this, adequate funds will be provided.

“Based on how effective this summer’s counter-offensive will be, and if there is a ceasefire or some kind of resolution by the end of September, I will probably have to reconsider Ukraine, on a much lower level than anything we’ve done so far.” Rogers told Defense News. A congressman from Alabama, one of the leading hawks and supporters of Ukraine in the House, referred to the declaration of Speaker Kevin McCarthy in this way. McCarthy, who recently negotiated a spending cut deal with President Biden in exchange for suspending the debt ceiling, has suggested he will not allow the House to consider additional spending packages.

McCarthy’s statement once again highlighted divisions within the Republican Party over foreign policy and support for Ukraine. As recently as last week, the party’s Senate leaders pushed — successfully — for a pledge that the debt deal would not preclude ping additional defense money in the future. What does this mean in practice?

“It looks bad. It is clear that the Republicans do not have the votes alone to accept this and will have to turn to us for help. And it will be politically difficult, especially when the presidential campaign is in the background,” the Democrats’ representative in the House of Representatives told PAP. At the same time, he added that his Republican colleagues calmed down, not to worry too much, because the announcer must “appease the madmen” – i.e. representatives of the extreme wing who loudly criticize aid for Ukraine. Although this group is a minority of the party caucus, it has a significant influence, because it is based on Republican control of the House and McCarthy’s position.

An advisor to one of the Republican senators ured in an interview with PAP that his party would not block aid to Ukraine.

“This is a minority in our party. If we look at the whole thing, many of us are asking for more, not less, support. And we’ve been asking the president for a long time to ask Congress for another package. So far, no success,” says the Republican.

McCarthy’s statements were sharply criticized in a statement sent to PAP by Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley.

“Comments suggesting that Congress stifle additional funds for Ukraine’s war effort are dangerous and signal to Vladimir Putin that our support is wobbly… If fringe factions get what they want and block the flow of aid, they will send a signal to Putin that he has the upper hand and The United States surrendered. This can never be allowed to happen,” said the Illinois politician.

Possible solutions to the problem include, for example, the inclusion of funds to help Ukraine during the amendments to the defense budget proposed by President Biden, amounting to over USD 880 billion. According to PAP’s interlocutors, an additional package will probably be adopted sooner or later, not only to help Ukraine, but also to Taiwan and to strengthen defense against China.

According to the Pentagon, the spending related to aid for Ukraine, ped at the end of last year, will end by the end of the current fiscal year, i.e. by the end of September. So far, Congress has ped four such packages, totaling more than USD 100 billion, of which only part is intended directly for the transfer or purchase of equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces.

The White House ures that the agreement on limiting spending does not mean that there will be no money to support Kiev.

“We are grateful for the cross-party support for Ukraine and we expect it to continue. The president made it clear that the budget agreement does not exclude additional funds for emergency situations, both for Ukraine and for natural disasters. And the president is very confident of that,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.

From Washington Oskar Górzyński (PAP)

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