GOP Rep: Here’s Why I Voted Against More Ukraine Aid

I joined the majority of House Republicans on Saturday in voting against sending 60 billion of America’s tax dollars to Ukraine. I did so because Europe has all the money it needs to ensure Kyiv’s survival if only it would open up its wallet to the extent it expects America to do.

Since the outbreak of hostilities, I’ve been told repeatedly that if Congress does not approve more money, then Ukraine will fall and Estonia, Moldova, and Poland will be next.

I won’t pretend that isn’t a real threat. But why are we not seeing the 27 nations that make up the European Union doubling or tripling the money they are sending to Ukraine? After all, this war is waging on their continent, in their own backyard.

Instead, Europe continues to send aid in slow trickles over multiple years—signaling that it is not treating Ukraine as an urgent need.

Europe has committed $154 billion to Ukraine since Russia launched its bloody and unprovoked invasion. That figure may sound good on paper, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

According to the non-partisan Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Europe has only delivered $82 billion of the $154 billion it has committed to Ukraine. Nor is Europe gearing up to increase the flow of aid even as it has warned Ukraine could collapse without an infusion of U.S. support.

In February, the EU pledged to make an additional $54 billion in assistance available to Ukraine. Here’s the kicker: that money will be spread out between now and 2027.

So in reality, that $54 billion investment equals $667 million per year per EU country over the next three years. That’s only a fraction of the $60 billion direct infusion the House just voted to approve.

Ukraine flag at U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES – APRIL 20: Supporters of Ukraine celebrate after House of Representatives passed bills, including aid to Ukraine and Israel, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, United States on April 20, 2024.

Celal Gunes/Anadolu/Getty Images

In comparison, the U.S. has already spent $113 billion on the war in Ukraine and is getting ready to cut a check for more. Unlike Europe’s contributions, the additional aid just approved by the House includes language requiring that portions of the aid be sent to Ukraine no later than September 2025.

The imbalance between the U.S. and Europe is even more clear when you look at aid to Ukraine in terms of GDP. Currently, about half of EU countries contribute a smaller share of their GDP in aid to Ukraine than America does.

The 27 EU member states have a combined GDP of some $20 trillion, compared to just $2 trillion for Russia. So it’s not that Europe doesn’t have the money to send to Ukraine.

Instead, Europe is choosing to spend its money on lavish social welfare programs and climate agendas.

Between 2020 and 2023, Germany spent $92 billion on climate change initiatives, including electric buses and retrofitting buildings to be green energy compliant. During the same period, Italy and France spent nearly $180 billion on climate programs.

When it comes to Ukraine, the same countries have only spent a small portion of that in aid. Germany has committed $30 billion in military aid, while Italy and France have committed under $2 billion each.

That’s part of the reason why I voted against sending $60 billion to Ukraine. Europe is asking us to support the war, but its own spending priorities show it is not treating Ukraine as a top priority.

If the need to bail out Ukraine was as urgent as Europe claims then shouldn’t we see them scrap the electric buses and send their money immediately, rather than over three-year increments?

Brian Mast represents Florida’s 21st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.