The federal government was finally funded this past weekend — for now, but significant questions remain. A new tranche of support for Ukraine amid its national defense against a Russian invasion was left out of the federal funding package eventually passed by the House and Senate, leading to quick calls after that government funding’s approval for action.
During a weekend interview on CBS, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argued in response to the push for the new Ukraine assistance that focus also needed to be placed on domestic interests, something he made clear he imagined to mean — possibly solely — the southern border, which Republicans continue to misrepresent in terms of what’s actually happening there. Sure, they could focus on the real-world problems that Americans do face and that many Democrats are working to address, but apparently they like chasing boogeymen. In response to McCarthy’s CBS remarks, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) shared a reminder that supporting Ukraine also supports U.S. interests.
This argument has been made before, contending that the U.S. has a vested, even if indirect, interest in Russia’s defeat amid its war against Ukraine. The authoritarianism and violence exemplified by the Russian military’s actions could threaten the U.S. or its allies, including allies who the United States would be obliged under NATO treaty obligations to help defend if attacked. “This notion that funding Ukraine isn’t about “America” is drivel,” Murphy said. “If we abandon Ukraine and Kiev becomes a Russian city, NATO is next, and the invasion of Taiwan not far behind. And then it’s American troops in the fight.”
And Republicans (some of them, at least) do like the idea of supporting Taiwan, which some fear could face military incursion by Chinese authorities. In the House, McCarthy’s waffling runs up against the increasingly vocal opposition from some Republicans to nearly any assistance from the U.S. for Ukraine at all, a division within the GOP that is just another reason why they’re struggling in the House to pass some key agenda items, let alone reach the kind of bipartisan agreement necessary for implementing them.
This notion that funding Ukraine isn’t about “America” is drivel. If we abandon Ukraine and Kiev becomes a Russian city, NATO is next, and the invasion of Taiwan not far behind. And then it’s American troops in the fight. https://t.co/PKu7USaX6Z
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 1, 2023