This decision came a day after an embarrassing defeat suffered by House leaders on Thursday, who had erroneously believed they had sufficient votes to pass the legislation aimed at countering the White House and Senate Democrats on spending.
When pressed about the $300 million in military aid for Ukraine, McCarthy said, “It would be out and voted on by itself.”
This move followed a surprise alliance of six Republicans who joined the Democratic caucus in thwarting the bill’s passage. Among those defying McCarthy’s leadership was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a staunch ally of the House speaker. Greene argued vehemently against using American taxpayer dollars to fund foreign conflicts.
“Instead of voting on money to defend ‘democracy’ in Ukraine, we should be voting on funding for Americans. This is the U.S. Congress, not the Ukrainian parliament,” Greene said on Twitter, successfully influencing McCarthy to reverse course.
On the same day Zelenskyy visited the Capitol, I voted NO to provide $300 million for the proxy war in Ukraine.
Instead of voting on money to defend “democracy” in Ukraine, we should be voting on funding for Americans.
This is the U.S. Congress, not the Ukrainian parliament. pic.twitter.com/9AjoBxGMyw
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 22, 2023
McCarthy’s about-face on Ukrainian aid for Ukraine was met with praise within the GOP. “This should have happened weeks ago,” Greene told the Hill in a statement. “I’ve made it loud and clear that I would not vote for a single penny of Ukraine funding. It’s frustrating to me things had to get to this level, that we had to waste an entire week when we could have been passing appropriations.”
A day prior, McCarthy blasted the Republican dissent. “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday. “That doesn’t work.”
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
— After House Republicans once again failed to pass a basic procedural rule to fund the Pentagon, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hits some members of his own conference pic.twitter.com/Qt4AR71jP3
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2023
The legislation in question, as outlined in the Hill sought “to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal assistance; logistics support, supplies and services; salaries and stipends; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine.”
However, Zelensky’s appeals have been overshadowed by a pervasive wave of corruption, leading to the dismissal of several Ukrainian officials. Notably, one of these officials was originally slated to meet with Biden officials earlier this month.