ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Polish PM slams US Republicans for opposing $95 billion aid package to Ukraine

Donald Tusk says former GOP president Ronald Reagan ‘must be turning in his grave’ over party’s failure to provide support to Kyiv as it battles Moscow’s aggression

In this handout photograph taken and released by Ukrainian presidential press service on January 22, 2024, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk gives a press conference following his meeting with Ukrainian president in Kyiv. (Handout /Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/AFP)
In this handout photograph taken and released by Ukrainian presidential press service on January 22, 2024, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk gives a press conference following his meeting with Ukrainian president in Kyiv. (Handout /Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/AFP)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Thursday that US Republican senators should be “ashamed” for leaving about $60 billion in wartime aid for Ukraine in limbo in a recent vote.

Poland borders Ukraine and has been pressing the US and Europe for unwavering support for Kyiv’s struggle against Moscow’s aggression as security concerns mount in the region.

A vote in the US Senate on Wednesday failed to back a $95 billion package for Ukraine, Israel and other US allies due to Republican opposition.

“Dear Republican Senators of America. Ronald Reagan, who helped millions of us to win back our freedom and independence, must be turning in his grave today. Shame on you,” Tusk wrote on X, formerly called Twitter.

By invoking Reagan, a former Republican president, and his efforts in the 1980s to support Poland’s struggle to shake off Moscow’s dominance, Tusk sought to underscore Washington’s global role and previous Republican values.

The roughly $60 billion that US President Joe Biden is seeking in support for the Ukrainian armed forces has been stalled in Congress for months because of growing opposition from hardline conservatives in the House of Representatives and Senate who see it as wasteful and demand an exit strategy for the war.

The impasse means that the US has halted arms shipments to Kyiv at a crucial point in the nearly two-year-old conflict, leaving Ukrainian soldiers without ample ammunition and missiles as Russian President Vladimir Putin has mounted relentless attacks.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, walks to the chamber as the Senate deal on border enforcement measures and Ukraine aid is rapidly collapsing, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, February 6, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Ukraine’s cause still enjoys support from many Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but the question vexing lawmakers has always been how to craft a package that could clear the Republican-controlled House.

Many Republicans said the compromise wasn’t enough and they would rather allow the issue be decided in the presidential election. Supporters of the bill insisted it represented the most comprehensive bipartisan border proposal in years and included many Republican priorities.

The vote failed 49-50 — far short of the 60 ayes needed to take up the bill — with four Republicans voting to move forward with the legislation and six Democrats, some of whom said the border compromise went too far, voting against it.

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