Republicans in Florida Delegation Split Over Sending $39.8 Billion in Assistance to Ukraine

This week, Republicans in the Florida delegation divided as the U.S. House passed a proposal from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., authorizing $39.8 billion in additional assistance to Ukraine as the Russian invasion of that nation continues.

The House passed the proposal on a 368-57 vote with all opposition coming from the Republican ranks.

Every Democrat in the Florida delegation backed the proposal.

“Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom and their future against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war,” said U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla. “Tonight, the People’s House acted decisively to provide critical additional support to Ukraine – including resources to help Ukrainian families who have been forced to flee their homes. This vote makes clear that the U.S. remains as committed as ever to supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom and democracy. Slava Ukraine!”

Republicans from the Sunshine State were far more divided. Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Carlos Gimenez, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Maria Elvira Salazar and Dan Webster voted for the bill.

Florida Republicans U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast and Greg Steube voted against the proposal.

“Tonight, I voted against an additional $40 billion of new funding in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I have long supported the Ukrainian people in their fight against Putin’s evil aggression. That’s why I voted in April to approve a loan of U.S. military equipment to Ukraine and voted in March for $14 billion in military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine,” Steube said. “Since then, Congress has not received a single report on how much of this funding was spent, if any, nor assurances that the funding even reached Ukraine. Today less than 6 hours before a vote, the Democrats dropped a massive, last-minute bill to send $40 billion more without any safeguards, assurances of use, or proof of a strategic plan for the U.S. role in Ukraine.

“We have an invasion at our Southern border and the amount Democrats hope to provide Ukraine tonight is nearly equivalent to the yearly budget of DHS’s Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard, TSA, and ICE combined – meaning we could nearly double our resources to secure our homeland with this $40 billion dollar investment. As inflation remains at a 40-year high, Congress must take seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of Americans’ taxpayer dollars by putting the critical needs of America first,” he added.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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