In a recent visit to Washington D.C., Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the dangers of withholding military and financial aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia to President Joe Biden. Responding to Zelensky’s concerns, Biden pledged to continue supporting Ukraine and has agreed to supply ATACMS long-range missiles to Kyiv. Biden also assured that Ukraine’s aid would remain unaffected in the event of a U.S. government shutdown.
This commitment was further underscored when Biden unveiled a new military aid package worth $325 million for Ukraine, following a prior disbursement of $400 million. This marks the 43rd instance of the U.S. providing military assistance to Ukraine, with a total aid of $43 billion since Russia’s 2022 invasion.
The aid aims to increase Ukraine’s ability to disrupt Russian supply lines, air bases, and rail networks. The ATACMS missiles will play a crucial role in “deep attacks” against enemy forces, according to the U.S. Army. However, this gesture of international solidarity comes when the U.S. grapples with domestic challenges, including soaring inflation, a looming government shutdown, and a historic border crisis.
With the September 30 deadline approaching, partisan discord is brewing over the possibility of a government shutdown, as disagreements over future spending have stalled a consensus to continue funding the government. The exemption of Ukraine aid from the shutdown’s impact has drawn sharp criticism from Republican quarters. They argue that such a move reflects the Biden administration’sadministration’s propensity to prioritize foreign engagements over domestic welfare. The sentiment was echoed by various GOP members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). “Well, this just says it all, doesn’t it,” Greene tweeted, suggesting this is former President Obama’sObama’s third term. Greene also accused Biden of trying to “rebuild” Urkaine on the taxpayer’s dollar.
Meanwhile, Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX) accused the administration of neglecting Americans while channeling millions to Ukraine. He tweeted, “I don’t know who the Biden regime is working for, but it’s quite obviously not for the American people.”
The criticism extended to accusations of Biden’s administration being more invested in a “proxy war” in Ukraine at the expense of American families, as voiced by former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. Similarly, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) humorously remarked that Biden “fell asleep on the train and got off at Ukraine instead of America.”
Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wisc., wrote on X, “The Biden administration thinks funding the protection of Ukraine’s border is more ”essential” than our own.”
The Pentagon issued a statement following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s meeting with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other senior leaders at the Pentagon on Thursday. Despite the GOP’s anger, Department of Defense spokesperson Chris Sherwood clarified that the law permits the U.S. to extend financial support to Ukraine even amidst a shutdown.
“Cut off services for Americans but keep sending their money to Ukraine,” Abigail Jackson, the communications director for Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., reacted. “How incredibly offensive.”