U-M expert notes ‘creative’ road to long-stalled US aid for Ukraine, threats to leadership of divided GOP

April 23, 2024
Concept illustration of military aid. Image credit: Nicole Smith, made with Midjourney


Susan D. Page, director of the University of Michigan’s Weiser Diplomacy Center and professor of practice in international diplomacy, shares insights on the long-stalled U.S. aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and other priorities.

The House of Representatives passed the legislation with bipartisan support this weekend and it’s expected to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden in the coming days.

Her comments come as U-M’s Ford School prepares to welcome U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink on Tuesday for the sixth annual Arthur Vandenberg Lecture and conversation with Page, who served as the first U.S. ambassador to South Sudan.

Susan D. Page
Susan D. Page

“In a creative plan laid out in a rule that passed on Friday, House Speaker Mike Johnson and his allies put together separate pieces of the package in order to prevent any one piece of the separate aid deals from blocking the entire package deal,” Page said. “In fact, a majority of Republicans voted against Ukraine aid on Saturday, continuing their opposition to criticism of Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine, while most voted yes on Israel aid.

“While Johnson appears to have won this initial foreign aid battle through creative packaging and the inclusion of issues that most Republicans could support, it remains to be seen what these latest measures will mean for his leadership of a deeply divided Republican House caucus.

“We look forward to hearing from Ambassador Brink about the current state of the war in Ukraine, security and military support from the U.S. and Europe, what the future might portend for the people of Ukraine, and U.S.-Ukraine relations in a deeply divided body politic.”