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Republicans in Congress push for aid to Ukraine in form of loan, Politico

Republicans in Congress push for aid to Ukraine in form of loan, Politico Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Members of the Republican Party in the US Congress are seriously considering the option of providing part of the aid to Ukraine in the form of a loan, according to Politico.

"The notion has been floating around for weeks, inspired by former president Donald Trump’s recent statements that all U.S. foreign aid — not just to Ukraine — ought to be loaned, not given outright," the material says.

Attitudes towards the idea in the House of Representatives

The material also writes that the option of a loan is being taken seriously in the House of Representatives, where the vote for aid to Ukraine has stalled for several months.

Some Republicans have picked up on this idea and proposed it to House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The Speaker, according to people familiar with the negotiations, advised them to draft a proposal, and check the ground with their colleagues from the Republican Party. And then, if the conference approves, proceed to implementation.

Who is hindering the approval of aid to Ukraine

There is hope that the loan option could become a viable alternative for Republicans, who have been entangled in this issue for several months.

During the debates, supporters of defense policy, who have decided not to let dictator Vladimir Putin defeat Ukraine, clashed with Trumpist conservatives who reject the idea of sending money to Ukraine when the US border is still in ruins and the national debt exceeds $34 trillion.

What idea Republicans are proposing

The material writes that members of the Republican Party are considering structuring a loan agreement.

Earlier, President Joe Biden requested $60 billion for Ukraine, although most of this money will be returned to the American defense-industrial base. Ultimately, weapons will be sent to Ukraine, but the money will support American jobs and enhance the potential of the American arsenal.

And about $12 billion will go directly to Ukraine. Republicans argue that if this amount is taken and turned into a kind of interest-free loan, it will not only provide much-needed assistance on the front lines but also appease Trump and please the Republican Party electorate.

Democrats may agree to this option

Politico writes that some Republicans are in contact with Trump's entourage to see if they can get the former president to approve this idea.

"If so, Republicans could try to chalk up the package as a win-win: support for America’s defense industry and a new precedent for giving foreign assistance as a loan, not a gift, as demanded by their presumptive nominee," the material writes.

However, it is unclear whether members of the Democratic Party of the United States will support this plan. After all, some of them previously objected to the idea of providing aid to Ukraine in the form of a loan.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed disdain for this idea last week, suggesting that passing the House bill and getting aid would take too much time. However, Republicans still believe that ultimately Democrats will agree to this option.

US aid to Ukraine

The US has been unable to provide new aid to Ukraine for several months now. The relevant bill has been stalled in Congress.

Recently, the US Senate supported the allocation of $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Of these, over $60 billion is earmarked for Ukraine.

For such a bill to take effect, it must be supported by the US House of Representatives.

House Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to put it to a vote. He wants aid to Ukraine to be considered in connection with money for border defense against migrants.

At the same time, Republican members of the House have begun drafting their own bill on aid to Ukraine. It provides for the allocation of part of the non-military aid in the form of a loan.

Yesterday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that House Speaker Mike Johnson is currently looking for ways to ensure that Congress adopts a new package of American aid to Ukraine. One option could be to assist in the form of an interest-free loan, rather than a grant, as it was before.