GOP leaders rail against Biden’s $24 billion request to aid Ukraine, say it ‘deserves scrutiny’
Top GOP leaders sharply criticized President Biden’s recent plea to Congress for an extra $24 billion to Ukraine on Friday amid a surging border crisis and soaring fentanyl epidemic.
Biden’s request comprises $13 billion for defense and $11 billion for economic and humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
The administration’s petition is part of a larger supplemental package sent to Congress Thursday that includes $4 billion for the border crisis and countering foreign involvement in the fentanyl epidemic. The U.S. has sent more than $100 billion to Ukraine since the Russian invasion last year.
Some Republican lawmakers say the US has already provided enough, especially after a $3 billion accounting error overvaluing Ukraine’s weapons aid was reported in May.
‘This additional spending request deserves strict scrutiny from Congress and the American people,’ Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News Digital on Friday. ‘While the Biden Administration has ignored the security and humanitarian disaster happening at the border, their appetite to spend billions on other priorities has no end.’
He added: ‘We have real work to do here at home. The United States has doubled what other NATO countries have contributed – combined. Our NATO allies need to step up because the U.S. will not shoulder this alone.’
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who sits on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees and has been a vocal critic of aid to Ukraine, told Fox News Digital the request shows how ‘Joe Biden is totally out of step with the American people.’
‘By plowing billions more of our taxpayer dollars into a war in Europe, Joe Biden is sending a clear signal that Ukraine takes priority over securing our southern border, deterring China in the Pacific, and getting costs down for working families at home,’ Hawley said.
Hawley, along with other members of Congress, has brought forth this year several pieces of legislation to restrict aid to Ukraine and institute an independent auditor.
Last year, Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mt., a member of the House Border Security Caucus, introduced legislation to prohibit U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war until the southern border is secured.
‘This is nothing more than a ploy by the Biden Administration to direct more money to Ukraine and disingenuously send over $3 billion to the southern border,’ Rosendale said to Fox News Digital. ‘Not to secure it, but to house the tidal wave of illegals they are bringing to our country.’
Rep. Matt Gaetz, another vocal critic of the outbound funds and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said to Fox News Digital, ‘We fought wars for decades in the Middle East because oil companies had their hooks in the Bushes.’
He added: ‘Now we plow arms and cash into the homeland of the Burisma Biden Bribers. No thanks.’
In July discussions, Gaetz and four House Republicans sought to amend the National Defense Authorization Act, aiming to significantly curtail Ukraine’s aid. Although the amendment was rejected with bipartisan opposition, 70 Republicans voted in its favor.
Meanwhile, in the upper chamber, a similar amendment to the NDAA was proposed by GOP Sens. Hawley, John Kennedy, Jim Risch, and Roger Wicker to create a Ukraine oversight office to audit funding. That was also rejected.
But Biden’s request is unlikely to gain support in the GOP-led House. McCarthy previously promised he wouldn’t bring a supplemental funding bill to the floor.
Biden’s appeal coincides with an ongoing surge of illegal border crossings along Texas’ border with Mexico. All sectors of the border are grappling with overcrowding by illegal entrants and are near or at capacity limits for detainment.
As of the end of June 2023, Border Patrol so far this year had encountered nearly 1.8 million illegal entrants.
Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Il., said to Fox News Digital Friday he supports continuing aid to Ukraine and that he would work to get those funds approved in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement he would carefully review Biden’s request to make sure it’s ‘necessary and appropriate to keep America safe, secure our borders, support our allies, and help communities rebuild after disasters.’
Fox News’s Brandon Gillespie and Liz Elkind contributed to this report.