The White House reiterated its confidence that Congress will approve new Ukraine aid — with or without GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy serving as House Speaker.
John Kirby, the communications coordinator at the National Security Council, told reporters that US President Joe Biden discussed the situation with global allies in a call Tuesday morning.
“We know that the vast majority of members in Congress support additional help for Ukraine and we know and appreciate their statements to that effect, including those of Speaker McCarthy,” Kirby said. “As evidenced in today's call, we know that the world is watching.”
Yet, McCarthy may not be the speaker for much longer, throwing into doubt whatever assurances he’s provided about taking up new Ukraine aid.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday moved to oust McCarthy from the top House leadership post by offering a motion to vacate the chair on the House floor — a rare procedural maneuver that can be used to force a vote to remove the speaker.
Kirby said the leadership fight in Congress wasn’t something Biden would interject himself in.
“That's not something that the president is going to get involved in or necessarily be overly concerned about right now,” he said, pointing to statements of support on Ukraine from other Republicans as evidence of support within the party for continued funding.
“There's a small number of very vocal, a small minority of vocal members who are pushing back on that but they don't represent their party. They don't represent their leadership," Kirby said.
He warned that failing to approve new Ukraine assistance could have dire battlefield ramifications.
“We cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted. Time is not our friend,” he said.