Back From Ukraine, a House Republican Makes the Case for More Aid

Knowing a vote on another aid package for Ukraine loomed in his future, Representative Chuck Edwards, a freshman Republican, spent part of last week traveling across the country to see for himself how American dollars would be used in the nation’s fight to fend off Russian invaders.

What he witnessed as he and a bipartisan group of lawmakers traveled across Ukraine over four days — a dozen air raids, an onslaught of drone attacks, and the sites of gruesome atrocities against civilians — left Mr. Edwards and his colleagues vowing to press Speaker Mike Johnson to push forward on a measure to provide more aid for the war effort.

They told President Volodymyr Zelensky that their visit had given them a “new appreciation” of what his country was facing, Mr. Edwards said, and that they would lobby Mr. Johnson to make sure that American aid did not dry up.

The trip came at a critical time for Ukraine aid on Capitol Hill, as Mr. Johnson searches for a path to advance a fresh funding package for the embattled nation amid vehement opposition from his right flank. The fate of the effort rests in part on mainstream Republicans like Mr. Edwards, who has previously voted in favor of aid to Ukraine, who are willing to join Democrats in lending their support to the cause.

A soldier in an artillery brigade using American-made M777 howitzers near the front line in Ukraine’s Donetsk region last month.Credit…Nicole Tung for The New York Times

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Edwards, who last month easily fended off a primary challenge to his right from a candidate who opposed U.S. aid to Ukraine, discussed the urgency of backing the war effort there, what he saw during his trip, and the difficult politics of the issue.

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