Washington can’t send money to Kiev while “America’s own borders are bleeding,” Mike Lee has said
US Republican Senator Mike Lee has spent four hours on the floor of Congress denouncing a proposed funding bill for Ukraine, arguing that it does not do enough to address America’s mounting problems at home.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has for months tried to secure additional funding for Ukraine amid growing fears in the West that inadequate assistance is making it difficult for Kiev to repel Russian attacks.
Republicans in Congress, however, have been reluctant to approve the measure, insisting that the proposed security packages fail to address the crisis on America’s southern border. Biden has said the GOP is willing to tank a recently unveiled compromise bill because of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who he said “thinks it’s bad for him politically” and is trying to “weaponize” the issue instead of solving it.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Saturday, Lee argued that “we cannot send billions of dollars to Ukraine while America’s own borders are bleeding,” calling the government’s failure to tackle the crisis a “betrayal.”
He also took aim at the “tragic dominance” of the military-industrial complex, which he accused of acting in concert with politicians in Washington and “making business out of bloodshed” at the expense of the freedom and honor of the American people.
This military-industrial complex and the Biden administration, Lee argued, are asking for another round of Ukraine funding despite already providing Kiev with more than $100 billion, an amount he said is twice the size of Russia’s average annual defense spending. He also noted that US assistance to the embattled country is significantly higher than that of any other nation in the world, both in relative and absolute terms.
This request for more funding came at a time when the “American people were starting to increasingly realize the extent to which extensive spending in Washington, D.C. has affected their day-to-day lives,” he added, pointing to skyrocketing cost of living and inflation.
According to a December survey by the Pew Research Center, 31% of Americans believe the US is providing too much aid to Ukraine, a number that has been steadily rising in recent months. According to the poll, this figure is much higher among Republican-leaning respondents (48%).
Russia has repeatedly denounced Western arms shipments to Ukraine, saying they will only prolong the conflict without changing the final outcome. Moscow has also argued that weapons deliveries make the West a direct participant in the hostilities.