They were words that made you sit up and take notice. Kevin McCarthy, leader of the conservative party in the House of Representatives, recently said that there would no longer be a "blank check" for Ukraine if its Republicans won the upcoming congressional elections. Other Republicans have also been critical of the billions in financial and military aid the United States is giving Ukraine in its war against Russia. However, observers believe it is unlikely that Kyiv will soon lose its most important supporter.
Because even if the Republicans snatch the majority in the House of Representatives and possibly even the Senate from President Joe Biden's Democrats during the so-called midterms on Tuesday, there is also a broad consensus among the conservatives as to how important aid for Ukraine is.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell would go even further than the Biden administration on arms deliveries and would also provide longer-range weapons to Ukraine. Former Vice President Mike Pence recently made it clear that "there can be no room for Putin apologists in the conservative movement." "In this movement there is only room for champions of freedom."
However, ex-President Donald Trump is the man who has repeatedly spoken positively about the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin, who has the greatest influence among the Republicans. Unforgotten how the right-wing populist praised the Kremlin ruler as "brilliant" and "clever" shortly before the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine - and also stuck to the "clever" after the invasion.
Also remember that the first impeachment trial against Trump revolved around allegations that the then US President withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure Kyiv to help in a smear campaign against Biden.
But conservative voters see it differently. According to a Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll, two-thirds of Republican supporters support more arms sales to Ukraine. "There's a sense that the average Republican is against it, and that's not true," said Colin Dueck of the American Enterprise Institute.
The Republican foreign policy expert sees McCarthy's "blank check" statement as more of an attempt to address concerns from a minority in his party -- especially since the 57-year-old needs their support as he approaches his party's expected victory in the House of Representatives election to become the new majority leader of the Chamber of Congress.
Nevertheless, President Biden used McCarthy's statements to attack the Republicans. "These guys don't get it," said the 79-year-old. "It's about more than Ukraine. It's about Eastern Europe, it's about NATO." The Republicans have "no sense of American foreign policy".
However, the President has recently heard criticism from his own ranks with regard to Ukraine policy. Last week, 30 MPs from the left wing of the party called on Biden to seek a negotiated solution with Moscow. Just one day later, however, the parliamentarians withdrew their letter and ruefully declared that it had been sent in error. They stand firmly behind the support for Ukraine.
The topic should therefore continue to cause debates in the USA. And the governments in both Kyiv and Moscow will be watching very closely for new cracks in US policy with regard to the Ukraine war after the midterms.