GOP base, senators outraged by 'unholy alliance' between Leaders McConnell and Schumer on Ukraine aid package

 February 18, 2024

A substantial portion of the GOP voter base has long accused Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) of ignoring their desires to focus instead on the wants of the Washington D.C. political establishment, otherwise known as the Uniparty, of which he is a member in good standing.

Those accusations have seemingly been confirmed in recent weeks and months as McConnell all but abandoned his own party to align himself closely with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on the issue of providing more U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to Ukraine, Politico reported.

McConnell also took a hit for his role in crafting and supporting a deceptively framed "border security" deal that was weak on actual security and instead would have, in large part, legislatively locked in aspects of President Joe Biden's lax policies on illegal immigration.

Schumer raps he has "99 problems, but Mitch ain’t one"

The Politico report about "How McConnell and Schumer became Ukraine-aid allies" documented how the two Senate leaders essentially became "partners" in the effort to push for passage of a $95 billion foreign aid package, $60 billion of which is earmarked for aid to Ukraine in its ongoing fight against Russia.

The outlet observed that, at least on the Ukraine aid issue, the two senators who typically find themselves at odds were so closely aligned that Schumer even reportedly jokingly quoted lyrics from rapper Jay-Z at a formal D.C. dinner event and told attendees that he had "99 problems, but Mitch ain’t one."

Indeed, the duo were said to have been constantly coordinating with each other on the foreign aid package, which appears evident in their remarkably similar comments to Politico for the article.

"On this particular issue, which is unusual, we’re generally in agreement," McConnell said, while his counterpart Schumer echoed, "Certainly we disagree on a lot of things, but we agreed on the importance of Ukraine."

That coordination was sharply criticized by some, including Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who described what the pair of Senate leaders had done as the product of an "unholy alliance."

Alliance on Ukraine likely only temporary

To be sure, The Washington Post reported that, setting aside the alignment on Ukraine aid, Sens. McConnell and Schumer will almost certainly revert back to being political rivals as the 2024 elections draw near, as Schumer seeks to defend his slim majority control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Democrats must defend 23 seats, several of which are deemed vulnerable in swing states, while Republicans only have to defend 11 seats, nearly all of which are considered safe.

However, McConnell's continued tenure as the Senate's Republican leader has now been called into question, regardless of how the November elections turn out, in part due to his adamant support for Ukraine aid that many GOP base voters oppose along with his support for the failed border deal that fell apart amid scrutiny and staunch opposition from the Republican-controlled House and former President Donald Trump.

GOP senators now calling for McConnell to resign or be removed from leadership

CNN reported last week that Sen. McConnell is now facing growing and increasingly open calls for his resignation or removal from leadership from not just the GOP voter base but also some of his own fellow Republican colleagues -- some of whom previously supported his continued role as leader.

"McConnell’s problem is that he doesn’t actually talk to or listen to voters or his members. … I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with McConnell in over a year," Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told the outlet, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said, "I think it was a huge mistake for him to be championing sending money to Ukraine at the expense of trying to figure out our border problem first."

The criticism of the Ukraine aid, initially paired with the failed border deal, was perhaps best summed up by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who told CNN that McConnell "engineered a process that was destined to fail. The only outcome it was likely to produce was a bill that failed to secure the border and simultaneously provided political camouflage for Democrats," and added, "McConnell just effectively gave the largest in-kind contribution to the Democratic Senate Committee in history."

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