Endless Arms Flow to Ukraine Raises Worry over U.S. Military Readiness Against China

Endless Arms Flow to Ukraine Raises Worry over U.S. Military Readiness Against China

There is growing worry in Washington that endless weapons support to Ukraine is hurting the U.S.’s ability to deter China from invading Taiwan and win if a conflict with China did break out.

A recently-published think-tank analysis warned that as it currently stands, the U.S. would run out of long-range, precision-guided munitions in a war with China over Taiwan in less than a week — a problem that author Seth Jones called one of “empty bins.”

“The United States has been slow to replenish its arsenal, and the DoD has only placed on contract a fraction of the weapons it has sent to Ukraine,” Jones, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) wrote, adding:

Effective deterrence hinges, in part, on having sufficient stockpiles of munitions and other weapons systems. These challenges are not new. What is different now, however, is that the United States is directly aiding Ukraine in an industrial-style conventional war with Russia — the largest land war in Europe since World War II — and tensions are rising between China and the United States in the Indo-Pacific.

Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder pushed back on the report, telling reporters, “I am confident that, regardless of what the situation is worldwide, as we’ve done for a very long time, the United States military will be able to be prepared to support whatever requirements we’re asked to support.”

However, defense experts and members of Congress are expressing increasing concern.

Elbridge Colby, a senior defense official in the Trump administration, tweeted recently: “Despite protestations to the contrary, it’s increasingly clear that Ukraine is indeed a distraction from our stated priority: Asia, China, and Taiwan. We can admit it and try to adapt. Or we can deny it and pay the price later.”

He added, “It’s especially important to reckon with reality because 1) the war in Ukraine doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon and 2) the military balance over Taiwan is deteriorating.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who sits on the Armed Services Committee, tweeted after the Biden administration announced it was sending tanks to Ukraine: “Another Forever War — while China runs rampant, undeterred.”

And Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), a Marine veteran, recently told Fox & Friends:

We have sent so much of our munitions down, so much of our military-grade equipment down, if we have to fight a war against China – which I think is far more likely and, frankly, it’s a far more dangerous opponent — that’s what worries me, is that the focus on Russia comes at the expense of China.

“Unfortunately, we cannot fight two enemies at once, and whether we fight the Chinese — God forbid, directly, or indirectly – down the road over the next 20 or 30 years, we need to focus where the real problem is. In my view that’s China,” Vance said.

Although current U.S. policy on Taiwan calls for maintaining “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to defend it if China does invade, Biden has said repeatedly that America would commit troops if China did so.

At the same time, China has become increasingly aggressive its territorial claims over Taiwan, a democratic island nation off the coast of China founded by Chinese nationalists who fled the mainland after losing a civil war with Chinese Communists.

NBC News reported Friday that Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC), wrote a memo that predicted that U.S. forces would be at war with China in 2025. He predicted that the U.S. and Taiwan would both be distracted by presidential elections in both countries, giving Chinese President Xi Jinping an opportunity to move on Taiwan.

“My gut tells me [we] will fight in 2025,” he said.

Mike Pompeo, former secretary of state and Central Intelligence Agency director, agreed “our military should get ready.”

“I don’t know if 2024, 2025 is the moment, but we should be doing the hard work, getting our military space systems, our cyber systems, all of those lined up, and then working our tails off to continue to build on” working with allies and partners in the region to deter China from invading Taiwan,” he said.

“It’s possible to do — I pray that President Biden and his team are up to that task, and they are serious about it. I have seen some evidence that they’re working on it, but not not remotely fast enough, or seriously enough,” he said.

On December 25, China launched its largest incursion to date into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), sending 71 Chinese military aircraft into the ADIZ in a span of 24 hours, with 43 of them also crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the unofficial border between China and Taiwan, as Breitbart News reported.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu recently suggested that 2027 was the most probable year for an invasion, if Xi is still in power and if China is facing domestic problems.

A recent U.S. government report found that the war in Ukraine is already slowing U.S. efforts to arm Taiwan, according to Stars and Stripes.

“The diversion of existing stocks of weapons and munitions to Ukraine and pandemic-related supply-chain issues have exacerbated a sizable backlog in the delivery of weapons already approved for sale to Taiwan, undermining the island’s readiness,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its November report to Congress.

The Biden administration’s recent decision to send Abrams M1A2 tanks to Ukraine could also slow the delivery of tanks to Taiwan.

There is only one plant in Lima, Ohio, that assembles then, and it is already full of new tank orders for Taiwan and Poland. Taiwan ordered 108 M1A2 tanks in 2019 and the first ones are expected to be delivered in 2024, and Poland ordered 250 M1A2 tanks that will be delivered starting in 2025, according to Politico. The new tanks to Poland are to replace 250 older T-72 tanks it gave to Ukraine last year.

CSIS’s Jones warned in his report that the U.S. industrial base is currently not set up to support a protracted war with China, let alone two adversaries at the same time — a long-held planning assumption for the U.S. military.

He also warned the manufacture of U.S. weapons is dependent on materials from China — a significant vulnerability for not only the U.S., but for those dependent on the U.S. for weapons. For example, he pointed out that China has a near monopoly on rare-earth metals critical for manufacturing various missiles and munitions. In addition, China has also tacitly aligned itself with Russia in its war with Ukraine, which could affect its incentive to supplies these materials to the U.S.

“The U.S. defense industrial base is not adequately prepared for the competitive security environment that now exists. It is currently operating at a tempo better suited to a peacetime environment,” Jones wrote. “These problems are particularly concerning since China is heavily investing in munitions and acquiring high-end weapons systems and equipment five to six times faster than the United States, according to some U.S. government estimates.”

Navy leaders have also recently expressed worry that arming Ukraine could make it difficult for the U.S. Navy — which is focused on the Indo-Pacific — to adequately arm itself.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro — a Biden appointee — told reporters, “With regards to deliveries of weapons systems for the fight in Ukraine…Yeah, that’s always a concern for us. And we monitor that very, very closely. I wouldn’t say we’re quite there yet, but if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who supports arming Ukraine, has called for the industrial base to ramp up. However, according to CSIS, that will not be a quick process.

“The history of industrial mobilization suggests that it will take years for the defense industrial base to produce and deliver sufficient quantities of critical weapons systems and munitions and recapitalize stocks that have been used up. It might take even longer to materialize facilities, infrastructure, and capital equipment, making it important to make changes now,” Jones wrote.

Meanwhile, he wrote, “Timelines for a possible war are shrinking.”

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook. 


Josh Hawley Introduces ‘PELOSI Act’ to Ban Congress from Trading Stocks

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced the “PELOSI Act” which would ban members of Congress, as well as their family members, from holding or trading stocks.

The legislation, known as the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act, references former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who was called out last year after her husband, Paul Pelosi, bought up to $5 million in stock in a semiconductor company right as the Senate was passing legislation to massively subsidize the semiconductor industry.

Pelosi was also among a group of Republicans and Democrats who beat the market in 2021 with hundreds of millions of dollars in stock trades. Others who faired the best include Reps. Austin Scott (R-GA), Brian Mast (R-FL), French Hill (R-AR), John Curtis (R-UT), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).

Hawley, who introduced similar legislation last year, said the practice must end.

“For too long, politicians in Washington have taken advantage of the economic system they write the rules for, turning profits for themselves at the expense of the American people,” Hawley said in a statement.

“As members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives are tasked with providing oversight of the same companies they invest in, yet they continually buy and sell stocks, outperforming the market time and again,” he continued.

Hawley’s PELOSI Act would ban members of Congress and their spouses from holding, acquiring, or selling stocks while in office. The legislation gives members and their spouses six months after taking office to divest stocks they hold or put them in a blind trust.

If members of Congress or their spouses are found to be in violation of the legislation’s rules, they would have to forfeit any profits to the United States Treasury. Violators would also be prohibited from deducting those losses on their income taxes.

The legislation gives the House and Senate ethics committees full power to fine members of Congress for such violations and would be required to publicize them to the American people. In accordance with the bill, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would be required to audit members of Congress to ensure they are complying with the rules.

“While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price,” Hawley said. “The solution is clear: we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”

Banning members of Congress and their family members from trading stocks is hugely popular among likely American voters.

Last year, a Trafalgar Group survey revealed that 76 percent believe Congress has an “unfair advantage” when it comes to the stock market. Only five percent support permitting congressional stock trading.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.


Exclusive — Josh Hawley: Mitch McConnell’s ‘Terrible Record’ Led to Poor Midterm Election Results

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest conference that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) “terrible record” may have led to Senate Republicans’ poor midterm election results in November.

Hawley served as one of the roughly ten Senate Republicans to oppose McConnell’s bid to continue serving as the Senate minority leader.

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow asked Hawley how McConnell maintains power despite the growing number of Senate Republicans opposed to his leadership and if he anticipates any backlash from his opposition to McConnell.

Hawley responded, “I’m from the state of Missouri. We’re pretty independent-minded. In my view, we have to do what is right. You have to have the courage of your convictions. So I’m happy to go out there and say, ‘We need a change in direction in the Senate GOP.’”

Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News

Hawley then explained the many ways that Senate Republicans have enabled President Joe Biden and the left’s legislative agenda to prosper.

“Listen, if you look at the last just two years in the Senate: Cave to Big Pharma on insulin. Cave to Chuck Schumer on gun control. Cave to the radical left on the climate agenda. That’s the so-called infrastructure bill,” he said.

Hawley emphasized, “That’s a terrible record. And then they wonder, Why didn’t we do better in the midterms? Gee, why, I don’t know.”

Eighteen Senate Republicans voted to pass the $1.7 trillion, 4,155-page omnibus spending bill, which contains billions of dollars in earmarks.

Hawley concluded, “We got to do something different, and we’ve got to give the voters, including independent voters, we’ve got to give them something to believe in us and trust us, and we haven’t done that in the last couple of years.”

Watch the entire interview with Sen. Josh Hawley here:

Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


Shadow Greed: National Association of Broadcasters Harasses Congress for JCPA Media Bailout

The potential inclusion of the controversial media bailout known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) threatened to upend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Powerful special interest groups, such as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), lobbied for the JCPA’s inclusion in the bill despite the prospect of politicizing the funding authorization for the nation’s troops.

The NAB came out of the shadows and activated its extensive grassroots network to harass conservative members of Congress blocking the JCPA. NAB is led by leftist president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt, a former Senior Counsel to  the powerful Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The NAB is pushing local broadcasters to call congressional offices demanding that lawmakers drop their opposition in a desperate lobbying barrage.

The NAB has continued its lobbying blitz against conservative members of Congress at a time that the legislative body is trying to prioritize national security by reauthorizing funding for America’s servicemembers.

A senior Senate GOP aide confirmed that the NAB has lobbied the senator’s office regarding the JCPA.

A senior House GOP aide confirmed that the National Association of Broadcasters called the lawmaker regarding the JCPA.

As Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and other conservatives have noted, the JCPA has nothing to do with national defense.

In a moment of desperation, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the lead schemer behind the JCPA, claimed that the media cartel bill is vital for “national security.” One day after lawmakers decided not to include the JCPA, she returned to her old talking points, without discussing how the bill is vital to national security.

This would not be the first time the NAB has been accused of being greedy. As these broadcasters emerge from the shadows to demand a media bailout, they have for years refused to pay American artists for using their song recordings on air.

Democrats, desperate to secure a goodie bag for their cronies in the media, chose to play games with American national security by attaching the JCPA, which, according to Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), has been described as a bailout for “big media.”

Over the last 48 hours, top Republicans including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump Jr.,  have spoken out against the attempt to tie national security to what is essentially corporate welfare for media conglomerates.

Citing a Breitbart News article, Pompeo also highlighted how the JCPA will indirectly help China, by amplifying the same news outlets that accept Chinese money to influence the American public.

“Giving the media cartel power is bad enough,” said Pompeo “The JCPA’s “China loophole” means this will benefit our adversaries. All Republicans should oppose cramming this bad bill in the NDAA.”

Trump Jr. on Monday questioned why some Republicans would work with Democrats to “destroy alternative media” by passing the JCPA.

Sen. Tillis joined Sens. Cotton, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN),  Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and John Cornyn (R-TX), all of whom have either spoken out publicly against the bill or who, according to sources familiar with the matter, are blocking the bill from being “hotlined” by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Broadcasters have lobbied to have the media cartel bill included in the bill even though the JCPA does not focus on national security. Now that the JCPA is not in the NDAA, special interest groups, such as the News Media Alliance and the National Association of Broadcasters, could decide to put it in an omnibus spending bill. However, it appears that special interest groups’ window for moving on the JCPA is narrowing rapidly.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


Group of 10 GOP Patriots Push Back on McConnell, Democrat Push to Include JCPA in NDAA

Group of 10 GOP Patriots Push Back on McConnell, Democrat Push to Include JCPA in NDAA

Amid a last-ditch effort by media lobbyists to insert the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), a bailout for the mainstream media derided across the partisan spectrum, into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), ten Republican senators are heroically stalling the push.

GOP senate leader Mitch McConnell is the primary antagonist, using two routes to help the Democrats ram through the bailout for their cronies in the media, something even their own supporters on the left oppose.

Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., speaks during the news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, to announce legislation which would require the president to consult with congressional leaders and obtain congressional authorization before exercising certain national security powers. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

One route is to attach the bill to the NDAA, a vital defense spending bill seen as a “must-pass,” which is rapidly evolving into a Christmas tree with all sorts of Democrat hobby horses, wholly unrelated to defense, attached to it.

McConnell and the Democrats are also attempting a process known as a “hotwire,” which would pass the JCPA without any debate if no Senator objects to it.

But they have a problem — the number of Senators opposing it has only grown since the push began, with sources on the hill telling Breitbart News that the number of opposing Senators is now up to ten.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has reportedly been particularly active in mobilizing opposition to the bill, having long warned of the JCPA’s potential to deepen the corrupt ties between Big Tech and the media industry, a relationship that has driven censorship of conservatives and independent media.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who was the first GOP senator to oppose the bill when it was first introduced in the House in the spring of 2021, recognizing the danger of more censorship, is also one of the Senators reportedly standing in the way of the Democrats and their establishment GOP enablers forcing the bill through without a debate.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who eloquently broke down the problems with the JCPA in the most recent Senate hearing for the bill, is another staunch JCPA opponent preventing the bill from being hotwired.

The last-minute push to enact the JCPA is also attracting the attention of senators who have not previously been involved in the debate. Sources on the hill say Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has also refused to cave in to the media lobby and its allies in the Republican and Democrat leaderships, and has, like Cotton and Blackburn, put a hold on the legislation.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has also reportedly joined the fray on the side of the JCPA opponents, along with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).

It is unclear who the other Senators preventing the hotwire are. Other Senators who have publicly opposed the bill include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

The media industry has thrown everything it has into passing this bill, well aware that there are hundreds of millions to billions of dollars of Big Tech money that could be funneled to them if it passes. Over the past two years, the media has fully deployed its vast clout with politicians, which extends across both parties, to get this legislation over the line, and has repeatedly failed to do so.

The fact that it has been held up so long, in a Democrat-controlled Congress, shows that corporate welfare for even the most powerful and wealthy special interests can be stopped if a few principled lawmakers take a stand.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


Some Republicans Voice Support for Mitch McConnell’s Reelection as GOP Leader

Some Republicans Voice Support for Mitch McConnell’s Reelection as GOP Leader

Some Senate Republicans over the weekend voiced support for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s reelection as GOP leader, while others pushed to delay Wednesday’s leadership vote until after Georgia’s Senate race is decided.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) both said Sunday they support McConnell’s reelection despite a letter circulating among Senate colleagues Friday to postpone the leadership vote.

“I think I’m actually going to support Mitch,” Cassidy told Chuck Todd on NBC News’s Meet the Press. “I think Mitch kind of pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for candidates who, for whatever reason, were having a difficult time raising the money,” he said. “Going forward, Mitch will be our leader.”

Cotton voiced support for McConnell seemingly due to a lack of a challenger to McConnell’s reelection bid.

“I don’t see why we would delay the election, since all five or six of our leadership elections are uncontested,” Cotton told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s News’s Face the Nation. “You know, the great wrestling champion Ric Flair used to say, ‘To be the man, you gotta beat the man.’ And so far, no one’s had the nerve to step forward and challenge Sen. McConnell.

“So, I support Sen. McConnell. I support the other slate of candidates for our leadership elections.”

Cotton’s and Cassidy’s support of McConnell is in contrast to the position of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who voiced opposition to McConnell’s reelection until after the Georgia Senate race has been decided.

“In light of [the Georgia senate] runoff, it would be appropriate to delay Senate leadership elections until we know who is in the Senate Republican Conference. I totally agree with Senator Ted Cruz that to do otherwise would be disrespectful to Herschel Walker,” he said.

Graham echoed many other Senate Republicans’ position of delaying the vote. So far, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mike Lee (R-UT) have voiced opposition to holding leadership elections right away.

“We are all disappointed that a Red Wave failed to materialize, and there are multiple reasons it did not,” a Friday letter from GOP senators, signed by Johnson, Lee, and Scott, said. “We need to have serious discussions within our conference as to why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024.”

Hawley, one of the most vocal opponents of holding a vote Wednesday, doubled down on Sunday, questioning whether GOP leadership is treating Republican Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker as “a full member” of the Senate.

“I don’t get the Senate GOP line on @HerschelWalker: Please, please win – but we won’t let you vote for leadership. Are you going to treat him like a full member of the Senate or not?” Hawley asked.

The interparty feud comes as McConnell is asking to be reelected on Wednesday after potentially losing more Senate seats than he had before the 2022 election. On Sunday, Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters lost to Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), giving Democrats control of the Senate. If Walker loses in Georgia in the runoff, Democrats would gain a seat.

McConnell has been criticized in recent weeks for his Senate campaign strategy. The McConnell-backed super PAC defunded Masters and New Hampshire’s Gen. Don Bolduc in the general election while funding pro-impeachment Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) against Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka. The Alaskan Senate race has yet to be called.

Civiqs polling showed Monday that just seven percent of voters view McConnell favorably, while 81 percent view him unfavorably.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


Sen. Josh Hawley Calls for Republican Party to Reform: ‘Time to Bury It, Build Something New’

Sen. Josh Hawley Calls for Republican Party to Reform: ‘Time to Bury It, Build Something New’

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is calling for the Republican Party to undergo reform after it was projected the party would not regain control of the U.S. Senate Saturday night.

“The old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new,” Hawley tweeted following Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) narrow victory over Republican Adam Laxalt in the Nevada Senate race.

Hawley’s call to “bury” and “build” a new Republican Party comes after several within the party were hopeful they would regain control of the Senate since they only needed to flip one seat. However, as of Saturday, the GOP is now at risk of losing one seat in the Upper Chamber depending on the results of the Georgia Senate runoff in December.

The day before the Midterm elections, Hawley indicated his support for change within the party following his statement that he would not support Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for Senate GOP leadership.

“I don’t imagine I will, no,” Hawley reportedly said when asked if he would back McConnell. “I’m not sure if any other senator will run or not. Nobody’s indicated they would. But my view is that we need new leadership in that position.”

McConnell is facing intense criticism from within the party after the Super-PAC he is aligned with, the Senate Leadership Fund, withdrew ad spending for Republican candidate Blake Masters in the winnable Arizona Senate race to attack fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging McConnell ally Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in the Alaska Senate race.

The Missouri senator then joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and other colleagues in calling for the GOP senate leadership vote to be delayed until the Georgia Senate runoff results are determined.

“Exactly right. I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished,” Hawley said in response to Rubio’s call for the Senate GOP leadership vote to be postponed. “We have a runoff in #GASenate — are they saying that doesn’t matter? Don’t disenfranchise @HerschelWalker.”

Since he was elected in 2018, Hawley has been one of few Republicans to challenge the GOP establishment orthodoxy — which typically prioritized corporate interests and foreign interventionism in the past — in favor of prioritizing working and middle-class families.

The non-orthodox policies that Hawley has voiced support for include regulating and breaking up Big Tech, giving wage subsidies to low-wage workers employed by small businesses, creating tax credits for working-class families, and calling for the U.S. to withdraw from the World Trade Organization.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


Scheduled Vote for Mitch McConnell as Leader Remains Despite GOP Opposition

Scheduled Vote for Mitch McConnell as Leader Remains Despite GOP Opposition

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on Friday shut down attempts to remove Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from his leadership position in the Senate by writing a letter Friday to Republican senators denying their request to delay Wednesday’s leadership vote.

Barrasso, one of McConnell’s top lieutenants, wrote a letter Friday to GOP senators denying their request to delay Wednesday’s leadership vote until after all Senate votes had been counted.

“We look forward to meeting next week with our new and returning members. I expect a full and open discussion beginning at Tuesday’s policy lunch on our path forward,” he wrote in a letter obtained by CNN. “On Wednesday we will meet again for our scheduled conference for elections.”

“I welcome the questions and points made in the letter circulated by Senators Rick Scott, Lee and Johnson,” Barrasso, who is in charge of leadership elections, wrote.

Barrasso’s letter comes after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mike Lee (R-UT) have voiced opposition to leadership elections until candidates’ dedication to conservative ideas are vetted.

In a second letter circulated Friday among Republican senators, those senators impressed upon their colleagues that “serious discussions” must occur about why the red wave did not materialize.

“We are all disappointed that a Red Wave failed to materialize, and there are multiple reasons it did not,” the letter reads. “We need to have serious discussions within our conference as to why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024.”

Hawley has been particularly vocal in opposing McConnell’s reelection as the Republican leader. “[I]t’s pretty hard to convince folks, particularly independent-minded ones who don’t tend to trust the process much, to vote for you, if you don’t have something affirmative to say and offer,” Hawley told RealClearPolitics.

“I lay that at the feet of the Washington establishment that set the tone for these races,” he added. “They failed to offer that kind of vision.”

Senate Republicans are scheduled to vote on McConnell as leader on Wednesday. Only eight percent of voters view McConnell favorably, while 80 percent view him unfavorably.

Under McConnell’s tenure, the national debt has soared more than $20 trillion, illegal immigration has continued, real wages for American workers have remained stagnant, Obamacare was enacted in 2010, big banks were bailed out in 2008, and social media companies have silenced individuals without repercussions. Dr. Anthony Fauci remains unaccountable for allegedly twice lying to Congress.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.



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