The new Republican controlled House of Representatives is set to limit funding for the war in Ukraine when congressmen and congresswomen are sworn in next year. The move will be a direct attack on Joe Biden’s foreign policy but will also be a blow to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as his country continues to resist Vladimir Putin’s invasion forces.
In October, ahead of the midterm elections, Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised an “end to the blank check” policy for Ukraine.
He said the policy reflected his party’s growing skepticism over financial support for Kyiv as it battles Russia’s invasion.
McCarthy told Punchbowl News: “I think people are going to be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. It’s not a free blank check.”
The move also reflects an attempt by McCarthy to secure the votes he needs to be made Speaker of the House of Representatives, in control of the agenda in Congress and third in line to the Presidency.
The veteran congressman has been one of the “establishment” Republicans to feel the ire of MAGA (Make America Great Again) Donald Trump supporters over their midterm disappointment. The party’s predicted gains failed to materialize leading to only a narrow majority in the House and a failure to win the Senate.
In order to win over the right wing “freedom caucus” of around 30 MAGA representatives, McCarthy has made a series of pledges. These include setting a timetable for a series of inquiries into Joe Biden and his family, the handling of the Covid pandemic and setting limits on Ukraine funding.
The House Speaker can only be elected if a simple majority of all Representatives vote for him or her and, as the Republicans only have three more seats than the majority required, the margin for error is very narrow.
Some have suggested they may vote for Trump instead because the Speaker does not need to be an elected representative.
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Polling has also revealed growing skepticism about support for the war in Ukraine from US voters.
In the Democracy Institute poll for Express.co.uk on the eve of the midterm elections, 60 percent disapproved of Biden’s handling of foreign policy overall and 55 percent disapproved of his handling of the Ukraine crisis.
Another question showed that 56 percent were opposed to more sanctions against Russia while a shocking 50 percent were “OK” with Ukraine losing the war.
Additionally, 55 percent were opposed to the US enabling Putin being removed from power, while 54 percent thought it was better for Biden to leave the White House than Putin the Kremlin.
Patrick Basham, director of the Democracy Institute, said the results “reflected that Americans believe the Biden administration over promised on how quickly the war would be over and that the war is one of the causes of their own economic problems.”
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