As Congress approaches a lame-duck session, the legislative body is pursuing a roughly $50 billion Ukraine aid package, according to an NBC News report.
An NBC News report noted that lawmakers are considering a $50 billion aid package as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has said that House Republicans are not going to “write a blank check” to Ukraine.
Congress has so far appropriated $65 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since the conflict between Russia and the embattled nation began. Congress as recently as September allocated $12 billion in aid to Ukraine in a stop-gap spending bill to continue funding the government through December.
One Republican senator said that proposal would ensure that “[Ukraine] can get through the year.”
The senator added, “It’ll make the $12 billion look like pocket change.”
NBC News noted that the new spending figure would most likely become part of an omnibus spending bill, according to congressional aides and a source close to the Ukraine government.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement on Tuesday that aid to Ukraine must be expedited and that a potential Senate Republican majority must offer greater assistance:
For our part, the United States Congress has funded and approved ongoing aid on an overwhelming bipartisan basis. It is not enough for the Biden Administration to slowly, eventually get around to providing it. It must be expedited.
A Republican majority in the Senate will focus its oversight on ensuring timely delivery of needed weapons and greater allied assistance to Ukraine, rebuilding and modernizing our military capabilities, standing up to terrorist states like Iran, and shoring up our defenses in Asia to deter Chinese aggression.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at a Heritage Foundation event, labeled Republicans who opposed backing Ukraine in the conflict as “apologists” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“As Russia continues its unconscionable war of aggression to Ukraine, I believe that conservatives must make it clear that Putin must stop and Putin will pay. There can be no room in the conservative movement for apologists to Putin. There is only room in this movement for champions of freedom,” Pence said.
Not all Republicans are on board with McConnell’s plan to offer seemingly endless aid to Ukraine as the war continues to drag on into the winter.
“We cannot continue to support Ukraine at the expense of our own country. We must advance the interests of Americans before anyone else,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), a former House Freedom Caucus chairman, said.
“It remains unclear where exactly this money is ending up and who it’s ending up with,” a senior aide to a House Oversight and Reform Committee member, told Breitbart News. “There is also no strategic goal in Ukraine right now—meaning we’re essentially sending blank checks to fund Ukraine’s government with no end in sight. And most importantly, Congress shouldn’t be supporting Ukraine at the expense of our own country.”
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) said, “My constituents are saying, ‘Why are we more worried about Ukraine’s borders than we are about America’s borders?’ My constituents are not sitting there going, ‘Gosh, we have to save Ukraine’s borders.”
Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) said:
I liken it to the airline videos they do before you take off: You need to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. And I just don’t think as a legislator that I could, in good conscience, support billions and billions of funding going overseas when we have such dire needs here.
One Democrat congressional aide told NBC News “We are incredibly concerned that the MAGA wing of the party is planning to block life-saving aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over the House.”
On the Senate side, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who has frequently voted against more aid to Ukraine, said he would oppose more aid to Ukraine and called on Europe to do more.
“This is their continent. …We can’t be first on the line in Ukraine confronting Russia … and do what we need to do against China. We just can’t do both,” the Missouri populist said in late September.