Five GOP-Backed Initiatives to Limit Aid to Ukraine Defeated, Bipartisan Support Keeps Funding Flowing

Using the annual Pentagon policy bill, five House Republican-backed initiatives to cut back on aid to Ukraine were defeated Thursday afternoon in votes where there was broad bipartisan support to keep funding going to Kiev. 

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendments pertaining to Ukraine would have effectively curtailed or reversed U.S. involvement in Ukraine, but the majority of Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the proposals. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) offered an amendment to remove $300 million from Ukraine funding, but it was defeated 89-341 with the support of all Democrats and 130 Republicans. On the House floor, Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) second proposal, which would have prohibited all security assistance to Ukraine, failed 70-358, with 149 Republicans voting against it. 

The two amendments proposed by the GOP faced fierce opposition from within the party prior to the votes, including from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who declared that he would “oppose any cutting of the defense.”  

On the House floor on February 24, 2022, Wilson declared: “We know this is a global war that we’re in of authoritarians versus democracies; this is not a war we chose, war criminal [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is the person who started the war.”  

He used former President Reagan as an example and stated that he supports “peace through strength.” Additionally, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind. ), a Ukrainian-born lawmaker, vehemently opposed Gaetz’s proposal. I don’t agree that Ukraine is not in the interest of the country, Spartz said. “It is in our national interest to end this war and deter aggressors like China and Russia.” 

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“Now we need to help Ukraine, and we need to understand that, you know, there are going to be a lot of lives lost for Ukrainians,” she continued. “But we need to make sure that we don’t have an endless war, and better and faster security assistance will be help to restore peace.”  

Other amendments that failed to pass included Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-Ohio) call for the White House to submit a report to Congress outlining the plan for American involvement in Ukraine, which was defeated on a vote of 129-301, and Rep. Andy Ogles’ (R-Tennessee) call for a lend-lease authority to Ukraine, which was defeated on a vote of 71-360. 

Democrats pushed for a number of Ukraine-related measures that ultimately did not come up for a vote, including a resolution from Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) to prohibit the export of cluster munitions from the United States. 

The controversial weapons have arrived in Ukraine as of this Thursday after President Biden made the “difficult decision” to approve their transfer last week.  

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