McConnell takes on the isolationist wing of the Republican Party in the fight for aid to Ukraine

“I don’t think the United States 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.”

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, said in a brief interview that he had voted against the relief package because $40 billion on top of the $13 billion “that we’ve already spent is too much right now, too much at one time.” ”.

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

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

“This is not charity that we are involved with here,” he said on Sunday. “This is our interest: to help Ukrainians. Like it is in the interest of the NATO countries. This is not a brochure. This is to prevent this ruthless thug from starting a march across Europe.”

Behind closed doors, McConnell sought to bolster the Ukrainian government early in the invasion of Russia, his allies said, making the case himself and inviting top Ukrainian officials, including Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, to speak at his conference. .

“His message very early on was: ‘We need to get the Ukrainians everything they need, as soon as we can get it to them,’” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri. “I think in general, Congress is very receptive to helping people fight for freedom, and I think Senator McConnell got there very early.”

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

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