Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called for the United States to continue to support Ukraine as the country defends itself from Russia and tries to take territory back.
"The United States isn't arming Ukraine out of its sense of charity. We're backing a fellow democracy because it is in our direct interest to do so," he said during floor remarks on Monday.
It comes as the White House is putting pressure on Congress to fulfill President Joe Biden’s supplemental funding request, which asks for more than $24 billion in additional funding to support Ukraine and $16 billion in disaster relief funds.
With lawmakers facing an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown, leaders in the Senate want to see the Ukraine aid and disaster relief funding tied to a short-term funding resolution. However, the GOP remains sharply divided on Ukraine aid as some hardliners in the House have demanded it be stripped out.
"Helping a democratic partner defend its sovereign territory against a provoked attack from a common enemy is obviously in America's interest. Let me stress, we aren't defending Ukraine from aggression. The Ukrainians are doing that," McConnell said.
“If critics of US support for Ukraine disparage the principle that we should oppose adversaries who invade and destroy Western-aligned neighbors, how credible — how credible — is their commitment to defend Taiwan or other allies?” he asked.
McConnell also commemorated the 22nd year since the September 11th attacks, saying they serve as a reminder “of our commitment to confront growing threats from global terror” and tied it to the need now to support Ukraine.