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McConnell takes on GOP isolationist wing in Ukraine aid fight


“I don’t think America has anything against Ukraine,” Hagerty said on Fox News. “We don’t want to see them fail, but we have issues here at home that we need to pay attention to.”

Senator Roger Marshall, Republican of Kansas, said in a brief interview that he voted against the aid package because $40 billion on top of the $13 billion “we’ve already spent, that’s all just too much right now, too much at the same time.”

What really concerns people in his state, he said, is the southern border.

Both privately and publicly, Mr. McConnell has argued that failure to halt President Vladimir V. Putin’s campaign in Ukraine would upset the international security order and pose a serious security threat to the United States. . He made a similar argument in 2014, when he lobbied for the United States to send aid to kyiv as Mr Putin invaded Crimea.

“It’s not charity we’re involved in here,” he said Sunday. “It’s our interest — to help Ukrainians. Just as it is in the interest of NATO countries. It is not alms. It’s to stop this ruthless thug from starting a march across Europe.

Behind closed doors, Mr. McConnell sought to bolster the Ukrainian government at the start of the Russian invasion, his allies said, advocating the case himself and inviting senior Ukrainian officials, including Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, to speak at her conference.

“His early message was, ‘We need to get Ukrainians everything they need, as quickly as possible,'” said Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. “I think Congress in general is very receptive to helping people fight for freedom, and I think Senator McConnell came on very early.”

But it remains to be seen whether Mr McConnell will be able to maintain support among Republicans.

nytimes Gt

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