Confusion erupted last week after a missile struck Poland. Initial reports that Russia was to blame were later rejected by Western officials, who claimed it was probably an accident caused by Ukrainian air defenses.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Republican, seized on the confusion and asserted that the Ukrainian government was attempting to draw the US into a larger conflict.
“As he tries to lead the US into World War III, [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky must stop requesting money and weapons from US taxpayers. No more funding for Ukraine. It’s time to demand an end to this war, “Tweeted she.
Days later, when it was revealed that the Republicans had won a slim majority in the House of Representatives, Greene and a number of other Republican allies unveiled a detailed strategy to more thoroughly audit the aid that the US provides to Ukraine.
The action would signal a much more skeptic attitude toward Ukraine’s cause even though it falls short of the complete withdrawal of aid that Greene has demanded in speeches and other public appearances.
For months, there has been a growing movement to stop or limit American assistance to Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.
Republicans who support “America First” nationalism have argued that the US shouldn’t join yet another expensive international conflict after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, they have cast doubt on Zelenskyy’s motivations and advanced conflict conspiracy theories, calling for the US government to concentrate instead on reducing immigration.
Russia, on the other hand, appears eager to bolster Republican far-right support by disseminating false information about the conflict that is meant to appeal to US conspiracists.
Since Russia’s invasion in February, the US has provided $60 billion in aid and military support to Ukraine, and the statements made by Greene and others have alarmed Kyiv.
On the eve of the midterm elections, President Zelenskyy urged US lawmakers to continue supporting his nation.
“There have been conflicting messages in the US mass media, particularly from the Republican side, about the need to be more cautious when supporting Ukraine and perhaps that support may need to be scaled back at some point. This is a very worrying signal for us “Zelenskyy at the time told CNN.
According to a Wall Street Journal poll conducted late last month, half of Republicans at the grassroots support cutting aid to Ukraine, indicating that Greene’s message is getting through to them.
Powerful members of the party, like Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is running for House Speaker, appear to support the position as well. McCarthy asserted in October that even if Republicans take back control of the House in the midterm elections, Kiev cannot “expect a blank check.”
According to Gunner Ramer, political director of the conservative Republican Accountability Project, a slim Republican majority in the House would give representatives like Greene disproportionate power.
Others, however, think that the new Congressional power structure is unlikely to have a significant impact on aid to Ukraine. According to Whit Ayres, a seasoned political consultant in Washington, DC, support for Ukraine continues to enjoy broad bipartisan support in Congress as well as support from the majority of Americans.
All bills pertaining to Ukraine assistance have so far received strong bipartisan support. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican who is slated to lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stated last Thursday that support would persist.
A columnist for MSNBC named Hayes Brown thinks that McCarthy may have hinted at a willingness to limit Ukraine aid as a ruse to work out agreements and spending reductions with Democrats in other areas.
Ayres, on the other hand, warned House Republicans opposed to aid for Ukraine that pursuing the matter further risked alienating moderate voters, for whom fundamental policy issues like crime and the economy continue to be important.
He referred to some of the divisive practices associated with the Republican far-right, saying, “No one put the Republicans in charge of the House to ban all abortions or cut off aid to Ukraine, or launch an endless series of investigations into Hunter Biden.” He claimed that they did so in order for the Republicans to address inflation, crime, and border security.