McCarthy plans to make Ukraine aid separate vote from defense budget

September 23, 2023
Jen Krausz

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly plans to take U.S. aid to train Ukrainian soldiers out of the defense budget and hold a standalone vote on it amidst pressure from his party's hardliners who oppose the aid.

The current defense appropriations bill includes $300 million for the training of Ukrainian soldiers, which some of the members blocking procedural votes to advance the bill have given as a reason why they have done so.

“I just voted NO to the rule for the Defense bill because they refused to take the war money for Ukraine out and put it in a separate bill,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said in a social media post claiming that a majority of voters oppose giving more aid to Ukraine.

"We've always done" it

McCarthy seemed to favor appropriating $300 million to training Ukrainian soldiers. He said, “This money is roughly 300 million for training, something we've always done; it was also in the NDAA.”

The Washington Examiner said they standalone vote would probably pass because some Republicans and many Democrats support it.

McCarthy is trying to avoid a government shutdown, given that Republicans always seem to get blamed.

“I just believe if you're not funding the troops, and you're not funding the border, it's pretty difficult to think that you're going to win in a shutdown,” McCarthy said. “I've been through those a couple of times, and if members think by moving you into a shutdown that that's a positive idea, I don't think that's where the majority of our conference is.”

What about our own crises?

While the U.S. government does not want to see Ukraine fall to the Russians, some Americans have questioned why we have given Ukraine more than $100 billion in aid and taken in tens of thousands of refugees from Ukraine when we have our own costly crises here, including inflation and illegal immigration.

Other Republicans supported helping Ukraine early on but are now questioning giving them more and more aid, seemingly at the expense of our own military readiness.

There have been several reports this year that U.S. ammunition stocks are low because we have given Ukraine 2 million rounds of ammo for their effort to repel the Russians' attack on their land.

If our ammunition stores continue to be low, it could keep us from defending the U.S. if we are attacked by China, Russia, Iran, or any country that wishes us ill.

It's the classic mistake of wanting to help too much and thinking the world's security depends on the U.S. alone.

America first

This is a mistake former President Donald Trump has sought to avoid with his America-first policies and strict prohibitions on getting involved in foreign wars.

America would probably be better off under Donald Trump in 2025 than it has been under Biden for a whole host of reasons, Ukraine being only one of them.

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