Support for Arming Ukraine Remains Strong in Congress, But Some Fractures Emerge

by | Jun 14, 2023

Support for Arming Ukraine Remains Strong in Congress, But Some Fractures Emerge

by | Jun 14, 2023


Congress is likely to pass another emergency funding bill for Ukraine, but it would probably receive less support, according to the New York Times. A growing number of progressive Democrats and freedom-oriented Republicans may oppose future aid as the White House burns through funds previously authorized by lawmakers. 

“Whatever the ultimate size of the request, there would very likely be enough support in both chambers of Congress to pass an emergency spending bill for Ukraine if it reached the floor,” the outlet reported. 

Those skeptical of passing another multi-billion aid package to Ukraine include some Democrats, with a “small number” on the party’s left fringe voicing ”unease about the continued fighting in Ukraine,” the NYT added. “But several have supported past assistance packages.”

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) suggested that another bill for Ukraine is unlikely unless it is accompanied by legislation that increases domestic spending. Past aid for Kiev has been paired with funding for projects at home. 

In the GOP, ‘America First’ Republicans have found themselves in a battle with the party’s establishment. However, the outlet noted that “Republicans who believe the United States should continue backing Ukraine’s war against Russia far outnumber the detractors.”

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) has said the Pentagon budget needs to be trimmed, including aid for Ukraine. “We’ve got to figure out where we can save in the Department of Defense,” she said, arguing “We can make some headway in funding for Ukraine.”

The debt ceiling agreement recently cut between House Republicans and the White House does not cap spending for Ukraine. Congress is working to pass the annual Pentagon funding bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes some funds for arming Ukraine. 

According to Newsweek, the NDAA includes $800 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and extends the lend-lease program for Kiev. Representative Marjorie Taylor-Green has declared that she will vote against the bill if it includes military aid for Ukraine. 

“The NDAA should only fund our military for our defense,” she tweeted. “I want to be able to vote for a good NDAA, but I will not if it funds Ukraine. We should be pushing a peace deal not funding a war.”

The debate over the next aid package is growing louder as the White House depletes the funding previously authorized by Congress. Last week, the Defense Department announced a new $2.1 billion arms package using USAI funds, leaving the White House with around $1 billion to distribute in USAI funds. The Joe Biden administration has additional money available to arm Ukraine through the Presidential Drawdown authority, though that account is also quickly shrinking.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles