Initially opposition to assistance for Ukraine came from the right. 57 House Republicans opposed assistance in a May vote. More recently, Kevin McCarthy the potential future speaker stated the House could target Ukraine funding. Former President Trump is supportive of Putin’s position on the war.
A recent letter from 29 members of the progressive caucus inside the Democratic party called on the Administration to support “vigorous diplomatic efforts” to support a negotiated cease fire and a cease fire. Hard to understand how this approach could lead to success when Russia is bombing civilians and infrastructure, committing war crimes and controls around 20 percent of Ukraine.
Withdrawing support from Ukraine or putting pressure on Ukraine to accept an immediate cease fire when Russia commits war crimes, has forced deportations of Ukrainian citizens, and still controls substantial Ukrainian territory, is incomprehensible to me.
The extremist Republican and extremist Democrats who basically support Putin’s position in Ukraine are a minority of the House and a minority of America.
Most pundits believe that the Republicans will have most of the next House. They would force a reversal in U.S. policy toward Ukraine and do other detrimental things including shutting down the government and breaching the debt limit.
Speaker Pelosi has been a strong supporter of Ukrainian aid, but she is under intense pressure from her left flank on a wide variety of issue.
A centrist Democrat or Republican could run for the job of speaker. The next speaker could be a centrist who supports Ukraine if centrist Democrats and Republicans unite.
The Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of Congress. The House could choose to elect a non-partisan respected figure outside of Congress to be the next speaker.
This action would result in America doing the right thing in Ukraine, could prevent future shutdown and debt-limit emergencies. A speaker who is respected by members of both parties could facilitate the dialogue on a wide range of issues and create a process that leads to more sensible centrist policies.
Authors Note: David Bernstein, a retired economist has written several papers advocating for innovative centrist policy solutions.
The kindle book Defying Magnets: Centrist Policies in a Polarized World has essays on policies student debt, retirement savings and health care.
The paper A 2024 Health Care Proposal provides solutions to health care problems that are not currently under consideration.
The proposals in Alternatives to the Biden Student Debt Plan are less expensive to taxpayers than the Biden student loan proposals. The reforms presented here provide better incentives and reductions for future students while the Biden debt-relief proposal offers a one-time improvement for current debtors.
Ukraine is the most important issue of our time. The conflict today in Ukraine reminds me of the conflict in the 1930s in Spain against Franco and fascism. Kevin McCarthy must not become speaker.