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Who likes wars more? Dems or GOP?

They both love seeing our Defense industry kick ass. The US spends about $1 trillion a year on defense, plus we spent $800 billion on NATO last year (our oversized contribution). Talk about a lucrative business to be in!

Did you know the largest three contributors to congressional campaigns are defense contractors, Pharma, and public labor unions.

Yes, and Dems drink from the trough along with Republicans. 36% of contributions from the defense industry went to Democrats. Chuck like Nikki Haley never saw a war they didn't like. Too bad about the poor bastards that die in the name of freedom (sorry meant profitability).

Visiting Ukraine, Schumer Pressures G.O.P. to Take Up Aid Bill

The top Senate Democrat warned that the fate of its war against Russia will turn on whether Republicans drop their opposition to sending more U.S. aid to Kyiv.

By Karoun Demirjian, NY Times

Reporting from Washington

Feb. 23, 2024

Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, used a trip to Ukraine on Friday to issue a dire warning to Republicans in Congress who are blocking tens of billions of dollars in military aid to the war-torn nation, saying their continued opposition would lead directly to Kyiv’s defeat in its fight against a Russian invasion.

“Everyone we saw, from Zelensky on down made this very point clear: If Ukraine gets the aid, they will win the war and beat Russia,” Mr. Schumer said in an interview as he wrapped up his first official trip to Ukraine, including a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky. “But if they don’t get the aid, they will surely lose the war.”

Mr. Schumer, a New York Democrat, and other senators in his party met in Lviv with Mr. Zelensky, his newly appointed military commander, Oleksandr Syrsky, and American embassy officials. The trip was organized as an opportunity for the lawmakers to collect on-the-ground evidence of Ukraine’s wartime needs, at a time when its military has been suffering setbacks on the battlefield.

But the political stalemate in Washington over a new round of American aid for Ukraine occupied a central role in their conversations. Ukrainian officials stressed that the more than $60 billion in military assistance that is stalled in Congress amid opposition from right-wing Republicans would make a critical difference in the outcome of the war.

Mr. Schumer promised Mr. Zelensky to do his utmost to persuade Speaker Mike Johnson to drop his opposition to allowing a vote in the House on the foreign aid package.

“We told him that we were confident that if Johnson put it on the floor, it would pass,” Mr. Schumer said. “We said if Johnson came to Ukraine and saw what we saw, we couldn’t imagine him not being for it and putting it on the floor.”

“Johnson should not let politics get in the way of doing the right thing,” Mr. Schumer added. “He should not have blind obeisance to Donald Trump when so much is at stake.”

But there is little evidence that Republicans are softening their opposition, even though Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities show no sign of abating. On Friday, the Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down 23 of 31 Russian drones launched overnight. The drones that breached Ukrainian air defenses badly damaged residential buildings, with at least three civilians found dead under the rubble of a building in the southern port city of Odesa, local authorities said.

Mr. Schumer argued that such setbacks might have been avoidable, had Ukraine already been in possession of the U.S. aid they are awaiting.

“The war has turned against them for only one reason: lack of ammunition and air cover,” Mr. Schumer said.

He noted that all the battlefield needs that Ukrainian officials named — including long-range ammunition and missile systems like ATACMS and HIMARS — were part of the foreign aid package the Senate passed earlier this month with a resoundingly bipartisan vote. And Mr. Schumer said an American official he met with in Ukraine told him Kyiv’s military would not have had to abandon the town of Avdiivka earlier this month had they had that equipment.

But in the House, Ukraine’s battlefield losses have only fueled Republican opposition to continuing to send more aid. The resistance has already grown substantially over the past year, fueled in part by former President Donald J. Trump’s “America First” worldview.

Mr. Johnson, despite having signaled earlier in his speakership that he might be willing to consider more assistance for Ukraine, has rejected bipartisan entreaties to put the aid bill on the floor, arguing that Congress should not approve any more money for Kyiv without also adding severe immigration restrictions to fortify the U.S. border with Mexico against an influx of migrants.

Mr. Schumer emerged from his Ukraine meetings saying he was hopeful about changing Mr. Johnson’s mind. Yet even Republican proponents of the aid have made little headway with the speaker, who has voted repeatedly against aiding Ukraine and is facing a threat from the G.O.P.’s far right to oust him from his position if he allows a vote on doing so.

After Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, led a bipartisan delegation this month to Kyiv, where he met with Mr. Zelensky and promised the United States would produce additional funding, Mr. Johnson showed no signs of changing his stance.

“The Republican-led House will not be jammed or forced into passing a foreign aid bill that was opposed by most Republican senators and does nothing to secure our own border,” Mr. Johnson said just days after Mr. Turner’s trip.

Mr. Schumer also sought to rebut an argument made by some Republican opponents of the aid that funding Kyiv’s war effort is merely committing to a losing battle — or one that would take years to come close to winning. Ukrainian officials told him there was “no evidence” that, with U.S. aid, Ukraine could not win the war, he said.

But he said it would take a long-term commitment from the United States to help Ukraine gain the upper hand against Russia.

“From what they said, I would estimate a few years,” Mr. Schumer said. He added Ukrainian leaders told him “if they start succeeding militarily, the pressure on Putin will be great and he will sue for peace.”

In an apparent attempt to show that American military aid is being put to good use, Ukraine’s defense ministry on Friday released the first video of a U.S.-made Abrams tank in action near Avdiivka, which fell to Russian troops last week. The tanks are some of America’s most advanced and were first delivered to Ukraine in the fall, in the hope that they could help Kyiv break through Russia’s defensive lines.

Mr. Schumer’s Democratic delegation included Senators Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut; Michael Bennet of Colorado and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader who has been a vocal champion of aiding Ukraine, led a similarly sized G.O.P. delegation to Ukraine in 2022.

The trip represents an expansion of an international profile that Mr. Schumer has been trying to cultivate since becoming majority leader. In the past year, he has logged trips to India, Pakistan, Israel, China and various locations in Europe.

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