White House Tells Ukraine That Congress Will Back More War Spending

A Republican aide tells Axios that the new aid would get enough votes but McCarthy might have trouble bringing it to the floor due to GOP opposition

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that the US has expressed to Ukraine and European allies that Congress will back the new spending on the war in Ukraine that President Biden has requested despite “dissonant” voices among Republicans.

An ambassador from an unnamed European country confirmed to Axios that his government had received that message from the US in recent days. Sullivan noted in his comments that there are still “strong” voices “in key leadership positions” in the Republican Party in Congress who favor continuing to fund the proxy war against Russia.

A House GOP leadership aide told Axios that the new Ukraine spending would likely pass if brought to a vote, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy might have difficulty bringing it to a floor for a vote due to growing opposition. “I just don’t see that support in the House [Republican] conference right now … We are well beyond just the Freedom Caucus talking about this,” the aide said.

Last week, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), co-chair of the congressional Ukraine Caucus, said he would not support new spending on the war in Ukraine that included anything other than military aid and didn’t establish an inspector general. He also said the counteroffensive “failed” and called for the US to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pursue peace talks. Harris is also a member of the Freedom Caucus but has been a staunch supporter of the war until now.

President Biden requested an additional $24 billion in the new Ukraine package, which would bring total spending on the war to about $137 billion if authorized. Biden’s request came after a CNN poll found 55% of Americans are opposed to Congress authorizing more spending on the conflict.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.