Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday called for lawmakers to approve an aid package for Ukraine, even as newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) prepares to put a bill containing only money for Israel on the floor.
“This is a moment for swift and decisive action to prevent further loss of life, and to impose real consequences on the tyrants who have terrorized the people of Ukraine and of Israel,” McConnell said while introducing Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., at an event at the University of Louisville.
“Right now, the Senate has a chance to produce supplemental assistance that will help us do exactly that,” McConnell said. “Enemies abroad will be watching closely and waiting for America to falter. Only our concrete and credible support can deter our adversaries in the future and restore security.”
The Kentucky Republican, who is the lead GOP voice calling for $60 million to help Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression, added that the wars facing Israel and Ukraine now are intertwined.
“Think of it as an axis of evil: China, Russia and Iran,” he continued. “So this is not just a test for Ukraine. It is a test for the United States and for the free world. And the path toward greater security for all of us is simple: Help Ukraine win the war.”
McConnell’s comments once again show the disagreement between the Republican leaders in the Senate and House.
Johnson said Sunday that the House will take up legislation to deliver $14.5 billion in aid to Israel. He has also indicated in the first couple of days of his Speakership that he supports an aid package for Ukraine, but he says it must be “bifurcated” from the Israel aid package and have “conditions” attached.
Those comments set off alarm bells among some conservatives who have called to delink the supplemental and have come out against more funding for Ukraine.
“We don’t have enough [industrial base] capacity to support a three-front war,” Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “We’ve got to focus, and I think we should be focusing on Israel and Taiwan.”