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McConnell Says Biden Agrees With Him On How To Handle ‘Isolationist’ Republicans

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has never been a big fan of former President Donald Trump, but now it appears he is not a fan of his supporters either.

The senator said, after his trip to Ukraine, that he is motivated to squash a “pretty small group” of isolationist members of Congress and Senate who are “somewhat encouraged by the former president,” The Washington Examiner reported.

In an interview on Thursday, he said he planned to “push back … against the isolationist sentiment in my own party.”

“And [Biden] agreed that that makes sense,” the senator revealed, showing that he and President Joe Biden are working together in his plan to squash Republican dissent.

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“I want to reinforce with the Europeans after some loose talk during the Trump years about whether NATO is important, that at least at the moment, the most important Republican we currently have in Congress has a different point of view,” the senator said.

“This is not a major schism. It’s a small isolationist group, somewhat encouraged by the former president. But it’s not widely held among Republicans in Congress, and I don’t think among the public in general,” he said.

A package that gave another $40 billion in aid to Ukraine passed the Senate by a vote of 86-11, with some in the Republican Party questioning where the oversight of the funds was and others questioning why the United States was spending so much more than Europe.

“Spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid – more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined – is not in America’s interests. It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes w/ no meaningful oversight,” Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said.

“That’s not isolationism. That’s nationalism. It’s about prioritizing American security and American interests,” he said.

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“If Congress really believed giving Ukraine $40B was in our national interest, they could easily pay for it by taxing every income taxpayer $500. My guess is they choose to borrow the $ bc Americans might just decide they need the $500 more to pay for gas,” Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said.

“My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation. Congress is trying yet again to ram through a spending bill – one that I doubt anyone has actually read – and there’s no oversight included into how the money is being spent,” Sen Paul said on Twitter.

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“All I requested is an amendment to be included in the final bill that allows for the Inspector General to oversee how funds are spent. Anyone who is opposed to this is irresponsible,” he said.

“While I sympathize with the people of Ukraine, and commend their fight against Putin, we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have. Passing this bill brings the total we’ve sent to Ukraine to nearly $54 billion over the course of two months,” the senator said.

“It’s threatening our own national security, and it’s frankly a slap in the face to millions of taxpayers who are struggling to buy gas, groceries, and find baby formula,” he said.

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Last week Sen. McConnell led a delegation of fellow GOP senators to Ukraine.

The senators arrived in secret to the embattled nation on Saturday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, CNN reported.

He was joined by fellow Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas.

The Ukrainian president said on Instagram that the visit “is a strong signal of bipartisan support for Ukraine from the United States Congress and the American people.”

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“Thank you for your leadership in helping us in our struggle not only for our country, but also for democratic values and freedoms. We really appreciate it,” he said.

This week Sen. McConnell expressed his support for the $40 billion aid package passed by the House for Ukraine as he urged his Senate colleagues to do the same.

“I strongly support the next package of lethal military assistance, which the House has passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. I hope the Senate can reach an agreement to consider and pass this legislation today. The Ukrainians need it. We need to do it today,” he said on Thursday.

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