Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Leader, made a rare appearance on Sunday morning news to talk about the war in Ukraine and what the United States can do to help them win the war in their country against Russia.
McConnell was clear-spoken on his hopes for what the United States can do to help the Ukrainians win the war namely continue to get them weapons in a more timely fashion, and reassure our NATO allies in the region that the United States in the fight.
President Biden, McConnell said, has “generally done the right thing, but never soon enough.”
The president is traveling to Europe this week to discuss the war with leaders. President Biden will first travel to Brussels, according to the White House.
“What I’d like to see the president do is to reassure our Eastern Bloc allies, it’s fine to go to Brussels, fine to go to Berlin, I’d like to see them go to Romania or Poland or to the Baltics – they’re on the front lines and need to know we’re in this fight with them to win,” McConnell said.
On Sunday evening, the White House said Biden will travel to Poland this week. Poland is hosting thousands of U.S. troops and taking in millions of Ukrainian refugees.
Congress has authorized $13.6 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine, and McConnell says if they need more then Congress should give them more money. McConnell agrees with the administration and NATO allies that there should not be a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine.
The Biden administration, along with some allies, is concerned about any acts that could escalate and expand the conflict, including a proposal from the Polish that would have provided Ukraine with Russian MiG fighter jets from a NATO airbase. McConnell is “perplexed” why those planes were not allowed to be transferred to Ukraine.
McConnell was also asked about a “Putin-wing” of the Republican Party that has defended Russia’s interests. Face the Nation asked McConnell why there is not more discipline in the messages from the GOP.
“There’s some lonely voices out there that are in a different place. (…) The vast majority of the Republican Party writ large both in the Congress and across the country are totally behind the Ukrainians and urging the president to take these steps quicker,” he said.
“There might be a few lonely voices off to the side. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to them.”