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US Congress dysfunction over Ukraine aid has no end in sight

Jan 29

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The United States has committed more than $75 billion to provide military support and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Despite President Joe Biden’s appeal for an additional $60 billion, some Republicans in Congress are becoming increasingly skeptical about the ongoing need to fund Ukraine’s defense. Adding to the complexity, Senate Republicans are tying their approval of more funding for Ukraine to a simultaneous strengthening of immigration rules, but a bipartisan agreement on that is hardly guaranteed.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan delves into the dysfunction and explains how this Congress has been the “least productive in American history.” He warns that the “drama” in the U.S. Capitol might significantly impact Ukraine’s prospects in its war with Russia.

Excerpted from Peter’s Jan. 29 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

We are taking a question from the ‘Ask Peter’ forum today – am I worried about Ukraine’s dwindling weapons supplies in light of what’s going on with the U.S. Congress? Yes, yes, I am.

Ukraine’s supplies are running out, and there’s a dozen or so Republicans blocking anything from being passed in Congress, so that means no more ammo for Ukraine. However, this isn’t isolated to things involving Ukraine. These Republicans are blocking everything they disagree with. So, this is a problem for everything and everyone.

Sure, we’ve seen unproductive Congresses before, but in case you haven’t flipped on the news in a while – there’s plenty going on. The real kicker is that I don’t see this resolving itself anytime soon. I’m sure people will try to step across the aisle and work something out, but the extremes from both sides will be sure to stomp that out ASAP.

Unless we see some true bipartisan cooperation, the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress will only get worse. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait for the November elections to sort this out, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Everyone, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from Columbia at the southern point of the island of Hawaii got the slopes up on a low up behind me, the larger volcano here, I am going to take something from our ask Peter forum, we’re going to put that link here at the end of the video too in case she was sending your own questions, and it’s am I worried about Ukraine in the light of what has become an American boycott, on weapons supplies? And yes, yes, I am. The Ukrainians are running out of ammo, there’s no way they could produce enough to support the war themselves. And the Russians are mustard a fresh human wave. And you know, human waves are very vulnerable to mass fire, but you have to have ammo for that to work. So there are some concerns, we might be seeing a turning point in the war here in the next few weeks if something doesn’t change. But what is going on is we’ve got a dozen roughly, Republicans on the right, who are blocking anything from happening in Congress that they don’t agree with. And so this is not a Ukraine problem. This is an everything problem. These view reps are blocking anything on any issue. So we’ve got programs that need to be addressed, not just Ukraine, but aid for Taiwan against China aid for Israel against Hamas. There’s issues with health care and business reform and criminal justice before the solid, the defense system and the budget, every single thing has been dropped. It’s not that these folks oppose Ukraine, per se, it’s they oppose anything that isn’t exactly their way. So I call them the Greenpeace faction of the Republican Party, because they just hate everyone. This means that this Congress has been the least productive in American history. At this stage in Congress a little bit more than halfway through their session. We’ve only passed about 20% of the bills that the second least productive Congress in history has passed. So this isn’t an issue of big government versus small government. This is just an issue of dysfunction. And it’s a problem for everybody. Now, I don’t think it’s going to get any better any soon. When the Republicans didn’t do very well, in last midterms, the hope of getting the big majority vanishes, they had a very slim minority beginning. And they have seen that minority shrink down. In part, it’s because they’ve cannibalize their own, this faction of Republicans forced out the former Speaker McCarthy of California. And so he just quit, he left the house altogether, leaving that seat open. We’ve had another a couple of resignations since and then the Republicans purged one of their own Republican Santas of New York. For me make sure I get this right. Using campaign finance to purchase gay fetish foot port can’t make a shed on any Hill. What it means is not just that the margin that the Republicans have in the majority has gotten smaller and smaller, worse than it sounds, because to pass something in Congress, you don’t need a majority of the votes, you need a majority of the seats. And so every empty seat kind of acts as a quasi vote against the majority. So they only have a Republican, they only have a margin of two, they can only lose one vote if they still want to get things passed. And that makes each individual faction including the Greenpeace faction, more powerful. So this is going to go one of two ways. Number one, they’re going to continue to stall everything and this Congress will go down in history as the most pathetic ever until we have general elections. A year from now, November in the new Congress would sit down in January, or the bulk of the Republicans reach across the aisle and start cutting deals with centrist Democrats. Now that’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of minutia. There’s a lot of politics, there’s a lot of noise. And in the environment that we’re in right now, anyone who reaches across the aisle is in buying a primary challenge from the freak Wings of their parties, whether it’s the Greenpeace faction or the Republicans or the squad version of the Democrats. So none of these are easy decisions, but they do suggest that drama in Congress is going to increase or rather than decrease in the months ahead. And that’s not just bad for Ukraine. That’s bad for everyone except for the Chinese who think this is fantastic. Alright, that’s it for me. Take care.

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