Criticism of the US assistance by some Republican lawmakers is indicative of the party’s future resistance, the outlet has said
US support for Ukraine will likely undergo increased scrutiny after the GOP takes control of the House in January, the Financial Times predicts. The party has a number of skeptics who do not want to give Kiev a “blank check.”
Last Friday, the newspaper highlighted conservative dissent amid the widespread praise and applause that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky received during his visit to Washington. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene did not attend the speech he gave before Congress, while fellow Republicans Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert refused to stand and clap.
All three have been critical of President Joe Biden’s policy of helping Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. They cited the lack of scrutiny over the aid and said that Washington has more important priorities, such as confronting China and safeguarding America’s southern border amid the migrant crisis.
“When we say you shouldn’t send endless amounts of money to this place where we’re exacerbating death and conflict, it’s like we’re traitors to the movement because Lauren Boebert and I didn’t stand up in some sort of North Korea-style performance,” Gaetz said, explaining his lack of enthusiasm for Zelensky to Fox News.
Some prominent conservative figures have attacked the Ukrainian leader. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has long been critical of Zelensky’s demands for continued aid, said the military attire he wore during the speech before Congress made him look like the “manager of a strip club.” Donald Trump Jr., the son of ex-President Trump, called Biden’s guest an “international welfare queen.”
Kevin McCarthy, who is poised to become speaker in the upcoming House, shocked Kiev and its supporters in October when he promised that there will be no “blank check” for Ukraine under a GOP majority.
Zelensky’s visit last week took place as Congress discussed a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, in which roughly $45 billion was earmarked directly or indirectly for his nation. The US has allocated over $100 billion for its response to the Ukraine crisis this year. In his speech, Zelensky described the aid money as an “investment” in democracy rather than “charity.”
Russia has warned against pumping weapons and money into Ukraine, saying that this will not alter its intention to eliminate what it perceives as a threat to national security. Senior Russian officials have said that Washington is using Ukrainians as cannon fodder in a proxy war against Moscow, and has actively thwarted attempts to negotiate.
December 27, 2022 at 03:39PM