Dec 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Top House Republicans try to stem the GOP's anti-Ukraine tide

Rep. Michael McCaul. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

A trio of House Republican committee chairs is pushing back on the GOP's growing opposition to sending further military aid to Ukraine.

Why it matters: The effort comes as lawmakers are straining to reach a deal on pairing Ukraine aid with border security funding in a national security supplemental that would also provide aid to Israel and Taiwan.

Driving the news: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Armed Services Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) sent out a 28-page memo to GOP colleagues laying out a "proposed plan for victory" in Ukraine.

  • The memo, first reported by Fox News, argues that "[d]efeating Putin in Ukraine now will prevent a Russian invasion of a NATO ally, which would be immeasurably more costly in terms of American blood and treasure."
  • "If the United States abandons our Allies like we did in Afghanistan, we will lose our trust and standing in the world as the leader of the free world," it also says.
  • The memo did not specify which NATO ally would be protected from invasion by a Russian defeat in Ukraine.

The backdrop: The memo comes as Republicans have gone from mostly supportive of Ukraine in the immediate aftermath of Russia's invasion in 2022 to largely opposed to sending more aid.

  • House Republicans' hostility to further aid has forced Senate Democrats to try to mollify them with concessions on border funding and policy in order to pass the national security supplemental.

What's next: The House and Senate are both getting classified briefings on Ukraine on Tuesday, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky planning to remotely join the Senate briefing.

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has teed up a procedural vote on Wednesday on a version of the national security supplemental that is likely to fail without GOP support.
Go deeper