Thomas Gallatin / May 13, 2022

Whoa, Joe: $40 Billion for Ukraine?

The Biden administration wants to continue spending money like a drunken sailor.

The idiom “spending money like a drunken sailor” needs to be replaced by the phrase “spending money like the American government.” Or maybe, more specifically, “spending money like the Biden administration.”

Having already given nearly $4 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, Joe Biden asked Congress for more — 10 times more. Biden has requested an additional $40 billion in both military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

“The need is also urgent,” Biden said in a statement Monday in an effort to sell his request to the American people. “I have nearly exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukraine’s fighters. This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action.”

The need for more military aid may indeed be urgent, but is it $40 billion urgent? The question of whether to support Ukraine is effectively moot, as the majority of Americans support helping Ukraine repel Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked attack. The major issues are Biden’s price tag and the allocation of the money. Of the nearly $40 billion package, just $6 billion is allocated for military assistance purposes, so where is the other $34 billion going?

On Tuesday, the House seemingly had little problem with the request. The funding for Ukraine passed, albeit with 57 Republicans voting against it. Republican Chip Roy (TX), who voted against the legislation, criticized it for not being paid for. He further called it “a massive slush fund that goes to the State Department.”

As for the Senate, Rand Paul (R-KY) single-handedly sidelined the legislation on Thursday. He wants language added to the bill that, according to The Hill, would “expand an Afghanistan inspector general role to include oversight of the Ukraine funds.” In other words, he wants to track where the money goes. Moreover, Paul questions the amount of money, saying, “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy.”

The Biden administration has consistently played up the urgency of Ukraine needing the funding. “We cannot afford any delay in this vital effort,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki asserted. “We look forward to continuing to work with Senate leadership to get this bill to the president’s desk quickly and keep assistance flowing to Ukraine without interruption.”

Meanwhile, when it comes to our own nation’s southern border, Democrats caterwauled and blocked Donald Trump’s request for $5.7 billion to build a border wall and shore up border protections. Now, throwing $40 billion to Ukraine is viewed as so imminently important that there’s no time to go over the implications of such a massive spending package, the lion’s share of which does not even go directly to Ukraine.

One doesn’t need to be an isolationist, nor does one need to reject sending military aid to Ukraine, to cry foul on this Washington boondoggle. This is Washington wasting taxpayers’ money, all in the name of assisting a nation with which we are not allied and that will never see all of the money. In short, the Biden administration is using Ukraine as an excuse to take more money from American taxpayers, even as inflation is skyrocketing and gas prices are soaring.

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