Last week 57 Republicans voted against the Democrats’ plan to ship $40 billion to Ukraine as everyday moms hunt for baby formula for their infants and illegal immigrants continue to stream across the border.
Six GOP lawmakers from Florida were among them. On Sunday, Rep. Greg Steube explained to his constituents why he was one of the six.
In an email statement, the Sarasota Republican noted that Democratic leaders gave lawmakers less than six hours to review the bill before voting. And then it arrived “with no offset in spending and without any safeguards, assurances of use, or proof of a strategic plan for the U.S. role in Ukraine.”
“Congress,” Steube added, “hasn’t even been provided information or an update on the $14 billion dollars that was initially approved and sent to Ukraine. Where are those weapons and did the money actually get to the Ukrainians?”
“Although I have long supported the Ukrainian people in their fight against Putin’s evil aggression, I voted against this additional $40 billion of new funding. We have an invasion at our Southern border and the amount Democrats are attempting to provide Ukraine is almost equivalent to the yearly budget of DHS’s Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard, TSA, and ICE combined, meaning we could nearly double our resources to secure our homeland with this kind of financial investment!”
Congress must take seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of Americans’ taxpayer dollars by putting the needs of America First,” he added.
One note about the aid to Ukraine that Congress has approved so far.
In March, the original $14 billion aid passed as part of a mammoth $1.5 trillion spending bill. Although a small pittance of the federal spending in the total bill, the Ukrainian portion was more than double the $6.4 billion that the Biden administration requested.
Recent history then repeated itself last week.
Congress authorized $40 billion – amid multiple crises at home, including runaway inflation and an ever-rising national debt – which, as it turned out, was $7 billion more than the administration asked for.
When, the American people might ask, is enough going to be enough.
Besides Steube, the Republicans who voted against the aid – whom The Washington Post are now calling “anti-Ukraine” – included Reps. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach, Byron Donalds of Naples, Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, Kat Cammack of Gainesville, Brian Mast of Palm City, and Michael Waltz of St. Augustine.