McConnell: Failure to pass Ukraine aid ‘strategic and moral malpractice’

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is stepping up his pressure on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to put the Senate-passed foreign aid bill up for a vote in the House, warning Wednesday that “starving” Ukraine of military support is “strategic and moral malpractice.”

McConnell told a radio host in Louisville recently that despite plans to retire from Senate leadership, he intends to stay in the Senate through the end of his term in 2027 in order to fight back “against the isolationist movement in my own party.”

On Wednesday, he did that by taking shots at President Biden for not providing military support to Ukraine more quickly and at members of the Republican Party who are now holding up $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.

“Starving Ukraine of needed capabilities wasn’t a smart way for the Biden administration to avoid escalation, and neither is it a political master stroke by some of the administration’s Republican opponents. It is strategic and moral malpractice. It risks condemning Ukraine and undermining our own national interest,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

McConnell has repeatedly called on Johnson to bring the Senate-passed $95 billion aid package up for a vote. The Senate passed the bill Feb. 13, almost two months ago.

The Senate bill also includes military aid for Israel and security assistance to the Indo-Pacific to deter growing Chinese aggression.

The Senate GOP leader recently warned that House Republican plans to turn aid for Ukraine into a loan program or to authorize the seizure of Russian assets to pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine could delay the aid package for weeks longer.

“The only way to get relief to the Ukrainians and the Israelis quickly is for the House to figure out how to pass the Senate bill. Anything that’s changed and sent back here … even the simplest thing can take a week in the Senate,” McConnell told reporters last month.

McConnell warned Wednesday that American credibility with its allies in Europe and Asia is on the line. He said that failure to pass the Senate aid package will damage U.S. leadership abroad.

“From Europe to the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific, the world is watching to see whether the United States still has the will to lead the West and preserve the international order responsible for our own prosperity for the better part of a century,” he said.

“So I will continue to urge our House colleagues to take up and pass the national security supplemental without delay,” he urged.

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