Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated at a press conference Tuesday that providing aid to Ukraine is one of America’s top foreign policy priorities.
“This omnibus bill — it’ll be on the floor — provides a real dollar increase for the Defense baseline and a real dollar cut for the non-Defense baseline, if you exclude veterans,” McConnell stated at the conference, a clip from C-SPAN shows. “That is absolutely critical and breaking the pattern we’ve had in the past when we’ve ended up in one of these situations where every time Republicans tried to get an increase in defense, we would in effect have to pay a ransom to the Democrats on the domestic side, wholly aside from the needs of the country. So let’s step back and say, ‘What are the real needs of the country right now?'”
“In the defense part of our expenditures, making sure the Defense Department can deal with the major threats coming from Russia and China, providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians, that’s the number one priority of the United States right now, according to most Republicans,” McConnell continued. “That’s sort of how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment.”
McConnell: “Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the number one priority for the United States right now according to most Republicans. That’s how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment.” pic.twitter.com/NPmzWRzoz1
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 20, 2022
“Admittedly, I’m pretty proud of the fact that with a Democratic president, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate, we were able to achieve through this omnibus spending bill, all of our priorities,” he added. (RELATED: Congress’ Spending Bill Leaves Out Banking Ban On Blacklisted Chinese Tech Giant)
Congress recently approved an additional $45 billion in aid to Ukraine and NATO allies. This includes $9 billion in military assistance under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress on Wednesday following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House.
Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been vocal in her opposition to Ukraine spending, called the billions of dollars heading toward Ukraine “absurd.”
“Put America First!!!” she tweeted after referring to Ukraine as the 51st state.
Greene also attacked McConnell specifically, urging Republicans to call up the Senate Minority Leader and “tell him what [they] think about the nearly $2 Trillion Omnimonster.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include more of McConnell’s statement, which addressed America’s foreign policy priorities specifically.