Biden unfazed by bipartisan grumblings over Ukraine aid, won’t back down from ‘blank check’ for war

Biden unfazed by bipartisan grumblings over Ukraine aid, won’t back down from ‘blank check’ for war

The White House on Monday said U.S. support for Ukraine will remain steadfast regardless of which party takes control of Congress after Tuesday’s midterm elections.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that despite recent questions raised by members of both parties about the “blank check” for military and economic aid to Kyiv, Mr. Biden remains confident that future aid will continue to have broad bipartisan support.

“We are confident that the United States’ support for Ukraine will be unflinching and unwavering,” she said. “That’s what we believe and that’s how we see this going forward.”

The Biden administration has gone to great lengths in recent weeks to reassure Ukraine that U.S. assistance will not dry up after the midterms.

Last week, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, where he announced the administration’s latest $400 million security assistance package and pledged ongoing support “to hold Russia accountable for its aggression.”

Still, fractures emerged in both parties in Congress over limitless support for the war effort against Russia.

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In a letter last month, 30 House progressives urged Mr. Biden to push for peace talks in Ukraine, marking a clear break within the president’s party over his strategy.

The lawmakers suggested Mr. Biden would have strong Democratic support for aid to Ukraine if he followed their advice, urging the president to “pair the military and economic support the United States has provided to Ukraine with a proactive diplomatic push.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat, later withdrew the letter under intense pressure from party leaders.

On the other side of the aisle, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned in October that Congress will not provide a “blank check” for Ukraine if the GOP, as expected, wins the majority on Tuesday.

Some Republicans are openly expressing skepticism about providing endless financial support for Kyiv while Americans face rising economic uncertainty at home.

Mr. Biden chastised the GOP for Mr. McCarthy’s remarks, saying Republicans “don’t get it.”

“It’s a lot bigger than Ukraine,” he said. “It’s Eastern Europe. It’s NATO. It’s really serious.”

Congress has approved more than $60 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine this year alone, with all 30 signatories to Monday’s letter among those supporting the spending.

A majority of GOP lawmakers still support funding Ukraine, despite 57 Republicans in the House and 11 in the Senate voting against a $40 billion aid package in May.