President Joe Biden has a key Republican ally in his push to tie aid to Ukraine and Israel together: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I know there are some Republicans in the Senate, and maybe more in the House, saying Ukraine is somehow different. I view it as all interconnected,” McConnell said of the war in Ukraine and the ongoing battle between Israel and Hamas during an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” which aired Sunday.
When it comes to Ukraine, McConnell said there were ramifications that extended beyond the ongoing war with Russia.
“This is a question of whether it is a serious threat to the United States. If the Russians are not defeated, they’re going to the NATO countries next,” McConnell said during another interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
The Biden administration on Friday asked Congress to approve a $106 billion package of emergency aid for Israel and Ukraine, as well as funds for the southern U.S. border and other humanitarian needs.
While sending aid to Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack has broad support in Congress, pushing through a package that includes more Ukrainian assistance could cause complications.
A small number of vocal Republicans have begun to balk at sending more aid to Ukraine, a stance that’s been amplified on the campaign trail by some of the GOP presidential candidates. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), for instance, called tying the aid packages together “disgraceful.”
But with McConnell in his corner, there may be hope for Biden’s request.
“We have big power competition from China, and Russia and we still have terrorism problems, as the Israelis have certainly experienced in a brutal way in the last week. So I think that requires a worldwide approach rather than trying to take parts of it out. It’s all connected,” McConnell said during the pre-taped interview at the Capitol.
“The Chinese and the Russians said they’re now friends forever. Iranian drones are being used in Ukraine and against the Israelis.”
And while McConnell acknowledged that he agreed with the Democratic president on getting aid to Ukraine amid their ongoing efforts to push Russian forces out of their territory, he emphasized that he and Biden are on a different page on the homefront.
“On the domestic side, I can’t think of a single thing I support [that] the Biden administration has done,” McConnell said on Fox. “However, when it comes to foreign policy and defense, I like the way it used to be where we would get together and try to do the right thing for our country and for our allies.”