Congress Considering New Aid for Ukraine Twice the Size of Total Border Budget

The House of Representatives voted 368-57 on Tuesday to send another $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. That single foreign aid package amounts to almost double what the nation spends annually on Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) combined.

While 57 House Republicans voted against the package, every Democrat voted in favor. The House vote came only hours after the text of the bill was released.

The package marks an increase above the $33 billion requested by Joe Biden and comes amid record federal deficit spending, an ongoing surge in inflation, and the typical failure of Congress to pass a regular federal budget.

The bill was immediately sent to the Senate for a vote. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has delayed its passage there by denying unanimous consent to advance it to a floor vote. As a result, it will be next week at the earliest before it receives Senate approval.

Paul noted that if the new package goes through, the U.S. will have sent $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. He added the total amount spent would make that country the single largest yearly recipient of military aid from America over the last two decades. Paul also noted that the amount the U.S. will have sent to Ukraine is more than any other country spends on their entire military.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for the immediate passage of the package. Graham, who has publicly called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that even the latest grant of $40 billion will not be the end of U.S. spending in the region. He said, “I think we’ll be doing this again.”

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) criticized the House bill on Tuesday, saying that Democrats dropped the measure on the House without “any safeguards, assurances of use, or proof of a strategic plan for the U.S. role in Ukraine.” He added that since he voted to approve earlier aid packages to Ukraine, the House has not received “a single report” on whether any of the funding reached Ukraine or was spent as intended.