Monday, October 2, 2023

Another McCarthy Promise Broken: Debt-Ceiling Deal Gives Blank Check to Ukraine

'We are almost certainly going to need a supplemental for Ukraine, which is, in my view, one of the most pressing defense challenges we have right now...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., promised that the GOP would put an end to “blank checks” for Ukraine on the campaign trail last October and again after he secured the speakership.

“Let’s be very clear about what I said: no blank checks, OK?” McCarthy said in March.

It looks like McCarthy has broken yet another promise, as the debt ceiling deal he brokered with the Biden White House puts no constraints on U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.

Quoting an anonymous White House official, Bloomberg reported this week that “any additional military assistance for Kyiv would move through Congress in a supplemental measure that won’t be subject to the deal’s caps on federal spending.”

Bloomberg’s report aligns with information coming from the Congressional Budget Office, which said in a letter to McCarthy that funding “designated as an emergency requirement or for overseas contingency operations would not be constrained, and certain other funding would not be subject to the caps.”

Analyzing this news, antiwar.com editor Dave DeCamp said Thursday that Russia hawks in Congress are looking to use emergency spending to increase the $886 billion military budget that was agreed to as part of the deal.

Indeed,  Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., reportedly called for just that.

“We are almost certainly going to need a supplemental for Ukraine, which is, in my view, one of the most pressing defense challenges we have right now,” Blumenthal said, according to Roll Call. “And the other obligations flow from China and Taiwan on one hand and Russia and Ukraine on the other.”

The Senate approved the Biden–McCarthy deal Thursday night, celebrating afterward.

“We prevented a catastrophic default that would have decimated our economy and inflected [sic] immense pain on families,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted of the 63-36 vote.

“We preserved the lion’s share of the historic investments we made,” Schumer added. “We took off the table the worst parts of the MAGA Republican plan that would have hurt families.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of 31 GOP votes against the bill, pushed back on McConnell’s and Biden’s default gaslighting.

“Default isn’t on the table. It’s not going to happen,” Lee tweeted. “Those who say opposing this bill threatens default want the bill to pass for all the wrong reasons.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also voted against the bill, but only because it didn’t provide boatloads of more cash for Ukraine.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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