Now that concerns about Kiev’s corruption have gone public, is Washington preparing an off-ramp to stop dumping cash into Zelensky’s lap?
For the first time in US history, the speaker of the US House of Representatives has been ousted. Rep. Kevin McCarthy had only graced the speaker seat for nine months before a bold move by Representative Matt Gaetz, a fellow Republican, pushed him out.
A few days before the vote to end McCarthy’s leadership, Gaetz had been making rounds on social and legacy media discussing his push to end McCarthy’s short tenure. He accused McCarthy of striking a secret deal with Democrats to allow for aid to Ukraine to be included in the government funding bill to avoid a government shutdown. Gaetz spoke about the debt crisis, McCarthy lying to his own party and lack of desire to investigate US President Joe Biden for corruption as some of the reasons he was leading the call for McCarthy’s removal. When asked what would happen if the Democrats saved McCarthy, Gaetz brashly replied, “…they can have him.”
The Democrats did not save McCarthy. In fact, 208 Democrats and eight Republicans voted to unseat him (only five Republican votes were needed). All this signals that whatever deal McCarthy may have brokered, the chaos is more politically advantageous to the elites and provides much-needed cover for what is actually happening to the country economically.
On the surface, this looks like another chapter in the chaotic Congressional saga about the divide between RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) and the America First group in the Republican party. It also conveniently provides Democrats with a scapegoat if the government shuts down and legislation gets stuck, causing further economic harm.
However, this may also be the uniparty exit strategy for ending the flow of billions of dollars to Ukraine. A recent Politico article cited a leak of information that the White House is concerned about the corruption in Ukraine and sustainability of continued funding. Most likely, this was a purposeful leak by intelligence to prepare an off-ramp away from more spending into the bottomless pit that is Kiev. The growing dissent regarding more billions to Ukraine, a country most Americans cannot find on a map, is getting louder. This all happening as the US heads for an election year is another significant factor.
However, the actors keep playing their roles in this political theater, welcoming Zelensky’s begging and propping up his propaganda. Biden made a stern, if slightly slurred, statement demanding Congress “stop playing games” and authorize the additional $24 billion he had requested, bringing the total spent on aid to Ukraine to over $137 billion. All this as Biden and other Democrats’ polling numbers are lower than ever, hovering at 30% or worse.
The interim speaker’s first action was to tell Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat and herself a former speaker, to vacate her office in the Capitol building within a week. Allowing a former speaker to keep using their office in the building is a tradition, one that McCarthy apparently hadn’t bucked.
Rumors are floating around as to who will be the new speaker. According to the Constitution, it doesn’t technically have to be a sitting member of the House, and there is even talk about nominating Donald Trump for the seat. While the wild days ahead will reveal the new leadership in Congress, perhaps they will also bring about an end to the blank checks for Ukraine.
October 05, 2023 at 03:09AM