The selection of the next speaker of the House could be a key factor in future rounds of U.S. support for Ukraine.
The House is preparing to select a new speaker after eight Republicans and 208 Democrats voted to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the position on Oct. 3. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have already begun speakership bids. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who led the effort to oust Mr. McCarthy, has indicated that Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) could also be a contender for the speakership.
NTD News, a sister news outlet to The Epoch Times, reached out to Mr. Jordan’s office for further comment on Ukraine but didn’t receive a response by press time.
Democrats More United on Ukraine AidMr. Gaetz cited his disappointment with leadership in recent budget negotiations as the key factor in his ousting Mr. McCarthy from the speakership. Ukraine aid was one of several issues that sharply divided the Republican House majority last week, before Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to temporarily fund the government and avoid a partial shutdown.
The $300 million aid package was ultimately kept out of the CR.
Although House Republicans are split on the issue, Democrats in both the House and Senate are largely aligned with the Biden administration’s calls for continued support for Ukraine. Democrats hold the Senate majority, and there appears to be enough Republican support in both chambers to pass additional rounds of Ukraine-related spending that come up for a vote.
Mr. Schumer signaled that House Republicans opposed to Ukraine aid may also find themselves at odds with their fellow Republicans in the Senate. The New York Democrat said he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) both favor additional Ukraine aid and that they’re “going to work together to get a big package done.”
Biden’s Case for More AidRep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) was among the House Republicans who voted for the $300 million in new Ukraine aid last week. Despite his own support for Ukraine aid, Mr. Armstrong argued that the Biden administration needs to do a better job convincing lawmakers to support it.
“People have had enough over here. They want to hear a plan. They want to hear a message. They want to understand what we’re doing. And there’s a case to be made. Go make the case,” Mr. Armstrong said.
At a White House press event on Oct. 4, President Joe Biden said he is worried that divisions in Congress could prevent his administration from delivering the support he’s pledged to Ukraine, but he also noted significant bipartisan support in Congress.
“I’m going to be announcing very shortly a major speech I’m going to make on this issue, and why it’s critically important for the United States and our allies that we keep our commitment,” President Biden said.