By Dave DeCamp
October 5, 2023 Antiwar.org
President Biden said Wednesday (10/5/23) that he was worried about the prospect of Congress authorizing more Ukraine aid after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed as speaker of the House.
“It does worry me,” Biden said. “But I know there are a majority of members of the House and Senate, in both parties, who have said that they support funding Ukraine.”
While Biden is correct that the majority of Congress still supports the proxy war, House Republicans who oppose arming Ukraine do have significant power, as demonstrated by the ouster of McCarthy. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) launched the effort over allegations that a secret deal was cut with Democrats to bring new Ukraine aid to the floor for a vote after it was stripped from a stopgap funding bill.
One of the Republicans who announced he’s running for speaker, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), has said he’s opposed to additional funding for Ukraine. Jordan has voted against aid for Ukraine going back to the $40 billion package in May 2022, the only stand-alone Ukraine aid bill.
Because of his position, Jordan has earned a grade of “F” from Republicans for Ukraine, a neoconservative project that was launched to rally GOP support for the proxy war. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) has also announced his intention to run for speaker. Scalise has supported arming Ukraine, earning himself a grade of “B” from Republicans for Ukraine.
Republicans are planning to hold a speaker election on October 11. According to Bloomberg, all legislative action is likely to halt until then, meaning President Biden won’t get the additional $24 billion he is seeking to spend on the war in the meantime.
The president said that he will soon deliver another speech on why the US should continue to fuel the war. “I’m going to make the argument that it’s overwhelmingly in the interests of the United States of America that Ukraine succeed,” Biden said. “I don’t think we should let gamesmanship get in the way of blocking it.”
Biden also hinted that he may have another way to get the money. “There is another means by which we may be able to find funding, but I’m not going to get into that right now,” he said.