Joe Biden seizes on Kevin McCarthy’s threat to reel in Ukraine aid

Joe Biden seizes on Kevin McCarthy's threat to reel in Ukraine aid

President Biden chastised Republicans on Thursday for having “no sense of American foreign policy” after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Congress will not provide a “blank check” for Ukraine if the GOP, as expected, wins the majority.

Speaking at a closed-door fundraiser in Philadelphia, Mr. Biden said Republicans “don’t get it.”

“They said that if they win, they’re not likely to fund, to continue to fund Ukraine,” he said.

“It’s a lot bigger than Ukraine,” he said. “It’s Eastern Europe. It’s NATO. It’s really serious.”

Mr. McCarthy’s warning Tuesday reflects a sense of skepticism among some Republicans about providing endless financial support for Kyiv as Americans face economic uncertainty at home.

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” the California Republican told Punchbowl News. “They just won’t do it … It’s not a free blank check.”

But that sentiment is far from a consensus within the conference.

Congress has approved more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine by overwhelming margins this year alone. Mr. McCarthy himself backed a $40 billion aid package for the war-torn country in May.

The majority of GOP lawmakers still support funding Ukraine, despite 57 Republicans in the House and 11 in the Senate voting against the package in May.

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael T. McCaul of Texas, told Bloomberg News on Tuesday that there is still “broad bipartisan support” for sending aid to Ukraine when asked about Mr. McCarthy’s remarks.

“We want to ensure that our NATO partners are stepping up to the plate and bearing the burden of the cost,” Mr. McCaul said. “I think he’s just saying we’re not going to write a blank check without oversight and accountability, which my committee will be providing.”

On Wednesday, former Vice President Mike Pence took a firm stance on aiding Ukraine and warned against “Putin apologists” gaining traction within the ranks of the GOP.

“We must continue to provide Ukraine with the resources to defend themselves,” Mr. Pence said during an address at the Heritage Foundation.

“We must continue to bring economic pressure … on Russia, and we must continue to provide the generosity, compassion, and prayers of the American people until Russia relents and until peace is restored,” he said.

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