The source of this new funding remains unknown.
President Biden approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine more than a week ago, bringing the total taxpayer investment for the war-torn region to approximately $54 billion with Republican backing.
The package, which provides $7 billion more than the president sought, was approved by the House with 149 Republican votes and 25 Senate Republican votes.
Only 57 House Republicans and 11 Senate Republicans voted against the bill.
Opposition and Support
Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, blasted the package as a massive gift made against “American interests.”
The bill was supported by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, as well as Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, among other Republicans outside of the legislative leadership.
Crenshaw appeared on Fox News days after the vote to justify his support for the billions provided to Ukraine, calling it a means to shift our foreign affairs focus from Russia to China.
54 billion to Ukraine is fucking insane
— #GayUnemployedWaiter (@PaulSorrentino3) May 31, 2022
“This is a commitment to severely weakening our second-largest foe, the Russian military,” Crenshaw stated. “This allows us to take action. This enables us to concentrate on our greatest opponent, China.”
Graham made a similar argument on the same network, asserting Taiwan’s fate is contingent on that of the Ukrainians.
Daily reminder of where Our $54 Billion went. pic.twitter.com/IhDlwIbtQq
— William Williams (@wmwms224) May 31, 2022
Christian Whiton, an erstwhile State Department senior aide under Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, is now a senior researcher at the Hub for National Interest.
He told The Federalist if legislators were concerned about a pivot to China, they would have already been pivoting to China and not Ukraine.
Focus on China
“If you choose to concentrate on Asia, you concentrate on Asia. The billions of taxpayer monies that are being sent to Ukraine,” according to Whiton, “will exacerbate Europe’s problems.”
“We increase the moral hazard by letting Europe off the hook when we’re paying for its security. Nothing about this will facilitate relocation to Asia.”
Legislators cannot directly respond to where the approved cash for Ukraine will ultimately originate.
When asked if they would favor increasing tax money to pay for the $54 billion in Ukraine, Crenshaw, Graham, and Ernst responded differently. Crenshaw’s office did not answer, while Ernst’s spokeswoman simply stated “no.”
Graham’s director of communications, Kevin Bishop, told reporters in mid-May the matter had not yet been explored.
“Graham stated support for seizing the assets of Russian oligarchs to assist with Ukraine-related costs, including a floor speech yesterday,” Bishop added.
Whiton warned about “limited defense budgets” as tax revenues become scarcer as a result of the recession and economic crisis caused by Washington’s uncontrolled spending.
Whiton stated, “If everything is a necessity, then nothing is a priority.”
“When it comes to finances and our attention span, we need to focus on China immediately, not in the distant future.”