McConnell Brags About Twisting Biden's Arm for Even More Assistance for Ukraine

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

I wrote on Tuesday about a comment that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made about the “number one priority” for most Republicans.


Now, as I noted, McConnell wasn’t just talking about Ukraine there and it was important to note that for full context, which not everyone citing the video did. He was talking about how the “Defense Department can deal with the major threats coming from Russia and China” as well as the general defense interests. But it was still troubling in my opinion that he put Ukraine in there as part of his “number one priority” for “most Republicans” comments because it seemed to conflate the interests of Ukraine with those of the United States, and because most Republicans are very concerned about the amount of money that is continuing to flow out to Ukraine with questionable accountability.

But if people were wondering about that statement, I don’t think McConnell helped his cause on Wednesday with another comment — that the Republicans asked for even more “security assistance” for Ukraine than Joe Biden was even asking for.

“That’s why Republicans rejected the Biden Administration’s original request for Ukraine assistance as insufficient,” McConnell said.


“The Administration’s initial plan assumed there would be a lull in fighting over the winter and so the disbursement rates of weapons would actually decrease. But hoping for the best cannot mean that we fail to prepare for the worst. Rather than slowing assistance, we should be speeding up international deliveries to Ukraine, to help them take back more territory and better prepare for whatever they need, wherever they next go on their offensive. So Republicans pushed hard here in the Senate to increase the amount of security assistance in this bill. I’m glad our Democratic colleagues came around. The agreement on the table increases weapons purchases to support Ukraine beyond the president’s request. This assistance is in our national security interest. But it is also in America’s economic interest.”

McConnell also said these “investments” (I seriously hate that word, it’s spending) would help “expand our defense manufacturing capacity and contribute to an industry that supports high-paying American jobs.” He said they would “make sure the Biden Administration is doing everything possible to rebuild our defense-industrial base.”

Now, I get the concept of helping out our national defense, which was harmed by years of neglect under Barack Obama. But you don’t exactly help it by giving our weapons away, depleting our stockpiles, and sending more than $44 billion to another country, which is what is included in the Omnibus bill for Ukraine. He’s trying to justify giving the money in part by saying it helps our defense industry, who are the folks who have been making bank here when we have to replenish our weapons stores.


Meanwhile, we have crushing inflation from overspending and our border is in chaos, as I also wrote about earlier. That’s our “defense” as well. What does he think this spending is going to do to inflation? Why is money to Ukraine seemingly more of a priority over money for our own border defense?

How long are we going to keep flooding money in — with no end in sight — as we fail to take care of our priorities in this country?


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