The pivotal speaker of the House position, recently vacated by Kevin McCarthy, has become the center of attention in the ongoing debate about U.S. aid to Ukraine. The candidates vying for this role have expressed diverse stances on the issue, which could significantly influence future funding decisions.
Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, currently heading the House Judiciary Committee, has been forthright about his skepticism regarding aid to Ukraine.
“I’ve been clear all along. Why should we be sending American tax dollars to Ukraine? We don’t even know what the goal is. No one can tell me what the objective is,” Jordan remarked during a Fox News interview.
Notably, Jordan received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who stated on Truth Social, “He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House, & has my Complete & Total Endorsement!”
On the other hand, Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise, the current house majority leader, has consistently supported every Ukraine funding bill and amendment since the war began in February 2022. He expressed concerns about the transparency of fund utilization, commenting, “Obviously, there’s concern that the money’s going to the places that it’s intended,” as reported by Politico.
Kevin Hern, the Republican Oklahoma representative considering a run for the speaker role, has emphasized other priorities over Ukraine funding. He asserted, “On yesterday’s vote to send more money to Ukraine, I voted no AGAIN. We need peace in Ukraine NOW! Not war!”
Serving as speaker pro tempore, Patrick McHenry, a staunch ally of McCarthy, has consistently voted in favor of Ukraine funding since the war’s onset in February 2022.
The ousting of Kevin McCarthy was a significant political event, driven by a 216-210 House vote initiated by Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. The decision of the new speaker will be instrumental in the forthcoming spending bill, set for finalization by November 17. Despite the Biden administration’s initial request for $24 billion, the continuing resolution did not earmark any funds for Ukraine.
President Joe Biden recently voiced apprehensions about the potential impact on his foreign policy and Ukraine aid, contingent on the speaker election outcome. He conveyed, “It does worry me. But I know there are a majority of members of the House and Senate in both parties who have said that they support funding Ukraine.”
Responses from the White House, Scalise, Hern and McHenry on the matter are still awaited.
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