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Bret Baier of Fox News addressed Idaho Republican Senator Jim Risch on Sunday about his vote against increased military aid to Ukraine, pleading with him to “defend that vote.”
In total, 31 Republican senators voted against the aid, which was included in a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill. While several Republicans expressed support for delivering further assistance, they questioned the lack of time allotted to evaluate the huge package, which funded a variety of different government initiatives, and said they would have preferred a focused Ukraine bill instead.
Risch argued in an appearance with Fox News Sunday that the US should supply surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine to assist them in establishing their own no-fly zone. Baier then noted that Risch had recently voted against providing military assistance to the Eastern European nation, as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to advance his internationally condemned invasion of the neighboring country.
“Senator, you voted against the omnibus bill, which includes assistance to Ukraine. So you’re advocating for aid to Ukraine, but you voted against it “As the host stated. “Advocate for that vote.”
“Had it been a simple majority vote, this would have been a no-brainer for me,” Risch responded. “I support that 100%,” the Idaho Republican added, adding that he was opposed to the package’s “other pork.”
“Whenever we have these doggone large bills, you’re either damned if you do or damned if you don’t vote yes or no,” he explained. “I hope no one interprets this as a lack of solidarity for the Ukrainian people.”
Along with Risch, the following Republican senators voted against the bill: Ted Cruz of Texas, Steve Daines of Montana, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mitt Romney of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Rick Scott of Florida, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
“Forcing us to swallow the terrible in order to obtain the good is problematic, unsustainable, and an ineffective method of long-term governance. While I am a strong supporter of delivering vitally needed assistance to Ukrainians, I was ultimately unable to support the remainder of this bloated spending bill for the aforementioned reasons “Romney stated his vote in a statement.
Rubio expressed similar sentiments on Twitter over his opposition to the omnibus bill.
“Two weeks ago, we should have passed funds for Ukraine,” he tweeted. “Democrats, on the other hand, held it hostage in order to force through thousands of earmarks, green new deal initiatives, the employment of 10,000 IRS agents, and other woke objectives buried in thousands of pages. This is an absurd procedure.”
Over $6.5 billion of the $13.6 billion finally approved for Ukraine will be distributed by the Pentagon. Another $3.9 billion will be directed to the State Department to give humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, and another $2.8 billion will be directed to the US Agency for International Development to provide assistance as well.
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