Ukraine and the Republican Slide | War in Ukraine

Congratulations from Volodymyr Zelensky did not take long. Moments after Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after a stormy week, Ukraine’s president sent a message on Twitter. We count on your continued support and additional assistance from the United States to bring us closer to our shared victory.he wrote.

Volodymyr Zelensky is acutely aware that political dynamics have recently changed in the United States, his main ally in the conflict opposing him to Russia.

Given the narrow Republican majority in Congress, Kevin McCarthy will have to make major concessions to the far right of his party to seize the presidential hammer.

According to American media, he promised a vote on a budget framework that would limit spending by a 2022 threshold, aiming to restore balance in 10 years. This could potentially result in a 10% reduction in the defense budget.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses a joint meeting of the US Congress on December 21.


Aid to kyiv can suffer. Frankly, we have to look at the money being sent to Ukraine and wonder if there’s a better way to protect America.said Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Donald Trump loyalist who has endorsed the new Speaker of the House.

In November, Kevin McCarthy said that if the Republican Party regained control of the House, there would be nothing more blank check for Ukraine.

noisy freedom caucus

While many moderate Republicans still support continued aid to Ukraine, a very audible minority oppose it. that freedom caucus demonstrated last week his ability to exploit the slim Republican majority in the House to his advantage and thereby advance his priorities.

Representatives, such as the controversial Marjorie Taylor Greene, are campaigning to cut funds to Ukraine to reinvest in the United States and strengthen the border with Mexico, for example.

American taxpayers are paying to support countries around the world with foreign aid as the United States collapses before our eyes.he wrote on Twitter after the Ukrainian president’s visit in December.

Marjorie Taylor Green, speaking to someone with her hand up, wearing a mask under her mouth, in words

Marjorie Taylor Green, wearing a mask in the House reading “Trump wins”.

Photo: Reuters/Bill O’Leary

Matt Gaetz, a representative from Florida, said in November: I would not vote another dollar to Ukraine. That same month, Thomas Massie, an elected official from Kentucky, criticized the US government for spending more on Ukraine than on roads and bridges in the United States by 2022.

This rhetoric was pushed further by leading figures in the ultraconservative movement. Tucker Carlson, the sulphurous Fox News host, devotes a lengthy segment to helping Ukraine.

milliards de dollars envoyés à l’Ukraine”,”text”:”Les démocrates au Congrès veulent vous empêcher de savoir où sont allés les 100milliards de dollars envoyés à l’Ukraine”}}”>Democrats in Congress want to keep you in the dark about where the $100 billion sent to Ukraine has gonehe said this week.

What did Zelensky and his wife do with the money? […] People are getting richer! he added, fueling conspiracy theories.

I want to know how the money is spentsaid Republican Senator JD Vance, who is known for his controversial positions, a guest on his show.

Shift in Republican opinion

Opinion polls in recent months show that the mood of Republican voters is changing vis-à-vis aid to Kyiv.

More than 52% of Republican voters oppose additional aid to Ukraine, opinion polls show YouGov On behalf of CBS News between 4 and 6 January 2023*.

Last November, a survey was conducted on behalf of Chicago Global Affairs Council indicating that 55% of Republican voters support military aid to Ukraine**. This figure was 80% last March and 68% in July.

The Republican leadership could not ignore this change in the mood of its base.

Next battle

Some elected Republicans have been flabbergasted to see the ebb and flow in the ranks of Republicans in favor of military disengagement. I feel like I’m in the fourth dimensionRepublican Representative from Texas Tony Gonzales said Wednesday.

Historically, Republicans have had a warmongering approach [hawkish] regarding defense. It seems to have changed. »

Quote from Tony Gonzales, Republican Representative from Texas

Still, the Republican tenor remains a staunch advocate of aid to Ukraine. Commitment to Kyiv is morally right and he is at the heart of American interestsRepublican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in December.

Kevin McCarthy, visibly disappointed, was surrounded by other Republicans.

Kevin McCarthy must overcome divisions in his caucus to be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Photo: Getty Images/Win McNamee

Weakened by a tough election, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, must find a way to bridge the gap between the moderates and ultra-conservatives in his ranks.

Measures to ensure more transparency and accountability of spending related to Ukraine could allow it to find its way through the hemicycle.

Aid to Ukraine is not threatened in the short term. The $45 billion plan passed in late 2022, when the House is still controlled by Democrats, will expire in September 2023.

However, when the debates do resume, they could become preoccupied and cause further heartbreak in Republican ranks.

This time it’s not just Kevin McCarthy’s leadership that will be tested. The outcome of the talks could have a big impact, far beyond US borders.

A reduction in American support for Ukraine could change the nature of the conflict, forcing its allies to review their strategies and obliging them to increase their aid. This includes Canada.

Methodology :

*this survey YouGov On behalf of CBS News is based on data collected from 2,144 respondents between January 4 and 6 using an online questionnaire. The margin of error cannot be calculated on a non-probability sample.

** This Ipsos poll is on behalf of Chicago Global Affairs is based on data collected from 1,030 respondents between November 18-20 using an online questionnaire. The margin of error cannot be calculated on a non-probability sample.

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