- Several Republican lawmakers are opposed to future funding to Ukraine as the deadline for Congress’ annual spending bill and a potential government shutdown grows closer.
- House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has tried to keep balance between Republicans who refuse to vote for a bill with additional Ukraine aid and other lawmakers who want it added.
- “There shouldn’t be any consideration of future aid until the Biden administration provides Congress with a clear mission. Until then, I’m firmly a no on the Ukraine supplemental,” one GOP lawmaker told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
A notable number of Republican lawmakers oppose further taxpayer funding to Ukraine as a debate over spending bills threatens to shutdown the government on Sept. 30.
Republican lawmakers, including members of the House Freedom Caucus, have said they will not support attaching aid to Ukraine in potential appropriation bills or a continuing resolution that, if not passed by the House and Senate by Sept. 30, will result in a government shutdown. The United States has thus far committed roughly $111 billion to Ukraine with an additional $1 billion authorized last week, and the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers hope to direct another $24 billion to the country in the appropriations bill , according to The Associated Press and Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“Congressman Biggs opposes sending taxpayer money to fund the Ukraine War,” a spokesperson for Republican Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Biden White House and war hawks in Congress have already sent $100+ billion to Ukraine without any clarity on what the goals, policies, or strategies should be for the United States’ involvement.
“We could be using this money to address veterans’ healthcare, rising crime in major cities, crumbling infrastructure, declining test scores in K-12, and so much more here at home,” Biggs’ spokesperson said.
The government is going to try and force another $24 BILLION in funding for Ukraine in the latest spending package.
Enough is absolutely enough.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) September 11, 2023
Republican lawmakers in the House are at odds with each other over the potential spending bills, with some – including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – calling for compromise with Democrats to avoid a shutdown, and others refusing to vote for a bill that doesn’t include certain provisions, including stripping funding for Ukraine and passing border security legislation. McCarthy has tried to keep balance amongst the differing factions in the House with a number of Republicans threatening to remove him unless he fulfills their spending bill requests.
Instead of including funding for Ukraine in the annual spending bill, McCarthy has suggested separating it and including it with the border security legislation, but even that idea received backlash from Republicans, according to Politico.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to travel to Washington D.C. on Thursday to make his case before President Joe Biden and congressional leaders as the Sept. 30 deadline for future funding nears, according to The Associated Press. His visit has elicited ire from some Republicans who feel his request for more funding is unrealistic, according to Politico.
“I have never supported sending American taxpayer dollars to fund the ongoing war in Ukraine. We have now sent over $100 billion to Ukraine with no end in sight,” Republican Texas Rep. Troy Nehls said to the DCNF. “Nothing in the Constitution stipulates that annual appropriations bills to fund our own government should also include appropriations to fund a foreign government.”
“Ukraine is not America’s 51st state,” Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said on X. “The mission of our Department of Defense is defending AMERICA and preventing wars. Not fueling a proxy war with Russia. I won’t vote for any bill that funds a war in Ukraine.”
“As we’re rapidly approaching a $2 trillion deficit and $33 trillion national debt, Rep. Norman believes any additional aid should not come through borrowed dollars,” a spokesperson for South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman told the DCNF. “He is opposed to any new spending – for anything – without offsets elsewhere to pay for it.”
Norman’s spokesperson noted that he would be open to providing Ukraine assistance on three conditions: if the United States had a budget surplus, was using that surplus to pay down the national debt, and if Congress was able to agree upon offsets with which to pay for Ukraine assistance.
“We do not have the votes in the Republican conference to do any Ukraine funding,” a senior Republican lawmaker told Politico. “That just makes it that much harder to get some of these [spending bills] across the finish line, because [Zelenskyy] just irritates some of our members.”
McCarthy is losing it.
He texted one of my colleagues who didn’t vote for him:
“I am ready to fund an endless war”
I’m assuming this is in *addition* to Ukraine.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 4, 2023
Congress has until Sept. 30 to either pass a spending bill – whether through 12 appropriations bills or a continuing resolution – or the government will shutdown. The House is expected to vote on the continuing resolution later this week, but a number of Republican lawmakers have already said they will not support the current draft brokered between the House Freedom Caucus and the Main Street Caucus.
“This continuing resolution to fund Ukraine and Jack Smith’s election interference is a betrayal of Republicans,” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said on X. “We must do better.”
McCarthy did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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