The collapse of aid to Ukraine in the United States Congress has been months in the making, and it’s exactly what Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell fears.
McConnell warned that political support for Ukraine was at risk as a small but vocal contingent of Republican lawmakers stepped up their efforts against sending American money abroad to fight Russia.
The Republican leader, who visited Kiev and touted US support for Ukraine, tried to use his party’s stronger side, ahead of a series of high-level talks this summer. -hot and then direct offers to the White House. .
But, in the end, neither McConnell, nor the White House, nor the Democratic lawmakers were able to approve a package of military and civilian aid to Ukraine that was reduced to $6 billion in the agreement reached last week to avoid the US government shutdown. .
Despite overwhelming bipartisan support in Washington to stop President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Russia, the failure to approve aid to Ukraine is a significant setback for a government seeking to lead an alliance with the West. to protect the young democracy as the fighting escalates.
It also shows the dangers looming in Washington as a group of Republican lawmakers who are only a minority in Congress – many of whom are allies of Donald Trump, the party’s favorite for the presidency in 2024 – use their power to overcome the will of the majority. The next steps are less certain.
“Yes, I’m concerned,” President Joe Biden acknowledged last week. “But I know there’s a majority of members of the House and Senate — both parties — who say they support funding Ukraine.”
Biden said he was preparing to give a major speech on U.S. aid to Ukraine and had a plan to ensure the flow of aid after the chaos on Capitol Hill, which was focused on impeaching the speaker of the Republican House of Representatives. , Kevin. McCarthy.
As Washington regroups, the sudden change unleashes political blame on the White House and Congress’s inability to work around a small but increasingly aggressive minority of lawmakers who are jeopardizing aid.