Sen. Hawley: $40 Billion for Ukraine 'Is Not In America's Interests,' Neglects the U.S. Border

By Michael W. Chapman | May 18, 2022 | 11:28am EDT
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- Although the U.S. Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package to Ukraine, which will likely pass, conservative Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) denounced the deal as not being in "America's interests," particularly when this country needs to address the crisis at the southern border. 

Hawley's concerns apparently are shared by another 10 Republicans in the Senate who potentially will vote against the legislation, and 57 House Republicans who voted no last week. 

"Spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid -- more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined -- is not in America’s interests," tweeted Hawley on May 16. 

"It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes w/ no meaningful oversight," he added. 

In a follow-up tweet, he wrote, "That’s not isolationism. That’s nationalism. It’s about prioritizing American security and American interests."

Congress already allocated $13.6 billion to Ukraine back in March. The $40 billion package is a new allocation, which would make total aid so far this year $53.6 billion.

The budget for the U.S. Defense Department in FY2022 is $782 billion. For comparison, an appropriation of $53.6 billion for Ukraine is 6.8% of the entire U.S. defense budget. Russia's defense budget reportedly is $65.9 billion.

The budget for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in FY2022 is $14.35 billion, about $39 billion less than the projected allocations to Ukraine so far.

In addition, the entire Department of Homeland Security budget in FY2022 is $52.2 billion, which is less than the $53.6 billion allocated for Ukraine. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On May 16, 11 Republicans, including Hawley, voted against ending debate on the $40 billion package. Those Republicans are Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).

As reported by The Hill, Sen. Hagerty said, “I certainly don’t have anything against the Ukrainians. We want to see them win, but pumping more aid into that country when we’re not taking care of our own country -- the best thing that [President] Biden could do is stop the war that he’s waged on American industry."

Sen. Rand Paul said, "[W]e cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.” 

“Americans are feeling the pain [from inflation] and Congress seems intent only on adding to that pain by shoveling more money out the door as fast as they can,” he said. 

After meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on May 14, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said, “Our delegation reaffirmed to President Zelenskyy that the United States stands squarely behind Ukraine and will sustain our support until Ukraine wins this war.... It is squarely in our national interest to help Ukraine achieve victory in this war and to help Ukraine and other countries deter other wars of aggression before they start.”

Senate Majority Lead Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who supports funding Ukraine, said, “One way or another we are going to get this done and send a clear message to Ukraine and the world that America stands on the side of democracy and against Putin’s deeply immoral campaign of violence.”

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