Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shot down a Russian reporter’s suggestion that he does not support aid to Ukraine, pledging continued U.S. support for the country and calling on Russia to pull its troops from Ukraine.
“No, I vote for aid for Ukraine. I support aid for Ukraine. I do not support what your country has done to Ukraine. I do not support your killing of the children either,” McCarthy said at a news conference in Israel on Monday.
“And I think for one standpoint, you should pull out. And I don’t think it’s right. And we will continue to support, because the rest of the world sees it just as it is,” McCarthy added.
The Russian reporter had said that he knows McCarthy does not support “the current unlimited and uncontrolled supplies of weaponry and aid to Ukraine,” asking if it was possible that U.S. policy on sending aid to Ukraine could change in the near future.
It was an apparent reference to McCarthy saying last year that there would be no “blank check” to Ukraine in a House GOP majority, while not ruling out any future support for Ukraine.
McCarthy defended his statement at the time.
“I think Ukraine is very important. I support making sure that we move forward to defeat Russia in that program. But there should be no blank check on anything. We are $31 trillion in debt,” McCarthy said.
A minority of Republicans in the narrow majority who are resistant to U.S. foreign intervention have been critical of sending additional aid to Ukraine. Even among the Republicans who support continued military assistance, some have questioned nonmilitary economic aid.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee last week approved, along party lines, a resolution to audit U.S. assistance to Ukraine.
But rather than making moves to scale back U.S. military assistance in Ukraine, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has repeatedly called on the Biden administration to send longer-range missiles and artillery to Ukraine.