Oct 22, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Some GOP lawmakers back Biden's Ukraine and Israel aid package

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) concludes a news conference in September. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Several GOP lawmakers are expressing support for President Biden's multi-billion dollar package introduced Friday, which combines aid to Israel and Ukraine.

The big picture: Biden's request to Congress for $106 billion in emergency funding, which would also ramp up U.S. border security, comes as some Republicans have hesitated to provide additional funding for Ukraine.

What they're saying: "We have big power competition from China, and Russia and we still have terrorism problems, as the Israelis have certainly experienced in a brutal way in the last week," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

  • "So I think that requires a worldwide approach rather than trying to take parts of it out. It's all connected. The Chinese and the Russians said they're now friends forever. Iranian drones are being used in Ukraine and against the Israelis," McConnell said.
  • When asked about the resistance among some Republicans to link the aid and if it is possible to pass Ukraine aid if it's not tied to Israel, McConnell said: "I just think that's a mistake."
  • McConnell said he views it as "all interconnected" despite some GOP lawmakers saying "Ukraine is somehow different."

Catch up quick: The ambitious package faces its own set of hurdles.

  • The House has yet to elect a new speaker following House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan's (R-Ohio) failed third attempt at the gavel Friday.
  • And Congress' mid-November deadline to avert another government shutdown is quickly approaching.

Meanwhile, other GOP lawmakers echoed similar sentiments as McConnell.

  • House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said he is "in favor of the concept of linking the biggest threats to the free world" and thinks it would be "very dangerous to abandon our allies at this critical time," per an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
  • House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio), on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, said he supports the package.
  • Turner said he thinks "it's incredibly important that we move forward to make certain that we stand up against the authoritarian regimes that are trying to undermine democracies that are our allies" and that "we should be more focused on Russia as a threat to the United States than we have been."

Of note: Former House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" he would not support linking aid to Ukraine to aid for Israel because he "would not want to delay any aid for Israel."

  • McCarthy said he "would have already sent aid to Israel."

Go deeper: Biden asks Congress for $106 billion for Ukraine, Israel, U.S. border

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