Anti-Trump group launches new ad pushing for pro-Ukraine House Speaker
An anti-Trump group launched an ad Friday seeking to push House Republicans to elect a new Speaker who will support more funding for Ukraine as the chaos in the lower legislative chamber continues to imperil additional assistance for Kyiv.
The political ad is expected to air across the Washington region and on Fox News, according to Republicans for Ukraine, a project from Defending Democracy Together, one of the most outspoken anti-Trump conservative advocacy groups.
Republicans for Ukraine contrast the chaos in the House with the war in Ukraine, arguing that Republicans are butting heads over the next Speaker while “the fight for freedom in Ukraine hasn’t stopped.”
“Ukraine needs our help to defend their freedom, defeat Russia and establish peace,” an announcer says in the video. “It’s time to stop the Republican infighting and focus on the fight for freedom in the House. The next Speaker of the House must support Ukraine.”
While the Senate is largely unified around backing Ukraine, the House is derailing more security assistance as it grapples with leadership challenges. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was ousted from the Speakership this week by a group of conservative rebels, as well as all the Democrats in the chamber.
The Republican majority in the House has yet to rally around a new leader and the chaos is throwing Ukraine aid funding up in the air as the Pentagon is warning it is running out of funds to support Kyiv.
Last month, the ultraconservative lawmakers who kicked McCarthy to the curb also successfully stripped Ukraine aid funding out of a stopgap bill to keep the government funded.
The next Speaker will be pivotal to future Ukraine support. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) are the front-runners for the Speakership.
Former President Trump, who may even consider a bid for the position because the Speaker does not have to be a member of Congress, has endorsed Jordan.
On legislation, Scalise has shown more support for Ukraine than Jordan and Hern, both of whom have earned low marks, according to a report card from Republicans for Ukraine.
Gunner Ramer, a national spokesman for Republicans for Ukraine, said in a statement that the U.S. “can’t let a minority of Republicans thwart the fight for freedom.”
“Pro-Ukraine House Republicans should insist that the next Speaker bring a Ukraine bill to the floor for a vote,” Ramer said.