Trump suggests converting Ukraine aid to a loan

Former President Trump suggested on Friday that he was open to Republicans authorizing extra aid for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, albeit in the form of a loan.

“We’re looking at it right now, and they’re talking about it, and we’re thinking about making it a loan instead of just a gift,” Trump said during an appearance at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

“We keep handing out gifts of billions and billions of dollars, and we’ll take a look at it,” he said. “But, more crucially, Europe must step up and provide financial assistance. They must equalize. If they do not equalize, I will be quite disappointed because they are far more affected than we are.”

Trump suggests converting Ukraine aid to a loan

Trump has been skeptical for months about sending US assistance to Ukraine in its battle against Russia, stating that support for Ukraine is not a critical American priority and that Europe should provide the majority of the assistance. His ideas have had a strong influence on his congressional allies, making passage of Ukraine funding difficult in the Republican-controlled House.

The former president’s stance has created a political quagmire for Johnson as he attempts to assist Kyiv’s embattled military. The United States has given Ukraine billions of dollars in military and humanitarian help, but it ran out of funding approved by Congress late last year.

The Biden White House has appealed to lawmakers for months to provide greater aid to Ukraine as its military battle to repel Russian attacks. President Biden and others have consistently stated that assisting Ukraine is in the best interests of the United States, since if Russia destroys Ukraine, it may invade a NATO ally, bringing American forces into a larger fight.

Trump suggests converting Ukraine aid to a loan

Last month, the Senate approved a $95 billion national security budget package, including $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. However, Johnson has declined to bring the bill to the floor since Trump’s House allies are staunchly opposed to providing additional help to Ukraine.

Johnson has stated for months that the House will examine foreign aid in due course, pushing back the schedule for other must-pass legislation, such as government spending. However, the Speaker settled on a plan last weekend, declaring that the House would debate Ukraine aid “right after” the two-week Easter holiday.

Democrats in both chambers have indicated that they are willing to approve Ukraine’s help in the form of a loan if it breaks the impasse, even if it is not their preferred option.


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