Ukraine Funding Cuts Rejected by Majority of House GOP

Most House Republicans rebuffed a series of proposals aimed at slashing financial support for Ukraine on Wednesday. Three amendments designed to curtail Washington’s funding for Kyiv within a Pentagon appropriations bill were defeated.

The House vote, which transpired with a significant margin, resulted in a 104-330 rejection of the amendments. Notably, all affirmative votes hailed from the Republican side of the aisle, while 117 GOP lawmakers voted against the proposed reductions, as reported by The Hill.

In a contentious move within the House GOP conference, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., proposed the first amendment seeking a reduction of $300 million in funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, an amount equivalent to the total allocation in the spending bill.

Last week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced his intention to remove the funding from the spending bill. He further stated that a distinct vote on the funding would be conducted separately.

His decision came in the aftermath of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., aligning herself with conservative colleagues to obstruct a procedural vote to advance the legislation. Greene and like-minded individuals have expressed reservations about the ongoing financial backing of Ukraine.

In a reversal of his previous commitment, McCarthy reneged on his promise just a day later. He declared that the funding would stay within the bill, citing the presence of aid for Ukraine in another spending measure that finances the State Department and foreign operations. McCarthy acknowledged that removing funding from the State Department bill presented increased challenges, leading him to ultimately opt for retaining the funding in both bills.

The House voted on four appropriations bills under one rule on Tuesday. Greene objected to the rule due to the Ukraine aid in two bills. The Pentagon funding bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, but it coincides with the Senate’s consideration of a short-term stopgap containing Ukraine aid.

The House decisively rejected an amendment by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to cut Ukraine security assistance (93-339). 26 GOP lawmakers voted “no.”

Another Gaetz amendment, aimed at prohibiting funds for cluster munitions transfers, met defeat with a vote of 160-269. This vote revealed bipartisan divisions, as 85 Republicans and 75 Democrats supported it, while 132 Republicans and 137 Democrats opposed it.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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