According to recent polling by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, nearly half of Americans believe that the United States is allocating excessive funds to aid Ukraine in its efforts to defend against Russian aggression. As politicians in Washington consider providing additional federal support to Kyiv, this sentiment among the public is worth considering.
The above statement, largely influenced by members of the Republican party, clarifies why conservative GOP legislators on Capitol Hill are increasingly opposed to President Joe Biden’s proposal for additional aid to Ukraine. They believe that the funds would be better utilized for domestic matters.
However, resistance to providing assistance has decreased slightly since last month according to a recent survey by AP-NORC. Currently, 45% believe that the U.S. government is allocating too many resources towards supporting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, compared to 52% in October. This change is primarily seen among Republicans, with 59% now expressing this sentiment compared to 69% in October.
However, the opposition from Republicans to ongoing aid for Ukraine remains steadfast.
Eric Mondello, a 40-year-old from Fountain, Colorado, expressed concern about the amount of money being spent on Ukraine, stating that there are pressing issues within our own communities that require attention. He specifically mentioned the need for healthcare for veterans and addressing homelessness. While acknowledging the importance of being an ally to other countries, Mondello believes that it is crucial to prioritize taking care of our own citizens first.
Thirty-eight percent of American adults believe that the current amount of spending is appropriate, which is a slight increase from the previous month’s 31%. Among Republicans, nearly 29% feel that the current spending is appropriate, which is a jump from 20% in the previous month.
Paula Graves, a 69-year-old individual, is among those who believe that the current level of expenditure for Ukraine is appropriate.
According to Graves, a resident of Clovis, California, Putin is undeniably wicked. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is a dictator who has violated human rights. He is a frightening individual and if Ukraine were to succumb to him, which country would be next?
Graves, who says she is not affiliated with a political party but leans more conservative, said she believes the U.S. has a leadership role on the global stage, adding, “I think we definitely need to put America first, but I don’t think that needs to be first and only.”
The White House has consistently urged legislators to approve Biden’s emergency spending proposal of approximately $106 billion, which was introduced in October. This includes over $61 billion designated for the conflict in Ukraine. The remaining portion of Biden’s request includes assistance for Israel in their conflict with Hamas, funds for various initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region, and additional resources to address migration at the southern border.
The Biden administration is becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of aid available for Ukraine. During a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized the importance of Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces and reassured that the United States will continue to provide support for the foreseeable future.
The statement was reiterated at the White House.
According to White House press briefing on Monday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby emphasized President Biden’s belief that when aggressive actions go unpunished, it leads to further chaos, death, and destruction. He stated that aggressors will continue their actions and the consequences for America and the world will only escalate.
However, the White House’s attempts to increase support for Ukraine have been rejected by Congress on two occasions in the past few months. Initially, a request for approximately $40 billion in supplemental funding was disregarded before the Sept. 30 deadline for funding. Last week, a temporary funding measure was passed to keep the government running until early next year, but it did not include any additional aid for Ukraine.
A bipartisan team in the Senate is currently crafting a bill that would merge new aid for Ukraine with more stringent border policies. This comes in response to concerns from Republicans that the U.S. is prioritizing foreign needs over domestic issues. Despite a growing isolationist sentiment within his party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., remains a strong advocate for providing aid to Ukraine, along with a majority of senators.
Senator John Thune, the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate from South Dakota, stated that legislators will persist in addressing the Ukraine-border package during the Thanksgiving recess and will not postpone action until mid-January, when Congress will once again face a deadline for government funding.
The House is facing a major question about how to respond to Russian aggression. The current Speaker, Mike Johnson, previously voted against providing aid to Ukraine as a conservative member of Congress. He has expressed a general belief in the importance of countering Russian aggression, but he is dealing with fellow GOP representatives who are openly opposed to continuing support for Kyiv.
Johnson is also demanding that more aid for Ukraine is linked with stricter border policies, but there is no guarantee that any immigration deal approved by the Senate, which is led by Democrats, would be approved by the House, which is controlled by Republicans.
50% of American adults express a high level of worry about the impact of Russia on the United States. Both Democrats (53%) and Republicans (51%) share this concern, but Democrats are more inclined to view Ukraine as a country that shares values with the U.S. and to support increased aid for Ukraine.
Approximately 48% of the general population supports supplying Ukraine with weapons, with a higher endorsement rate among Democrats (57%) compared to Republicans (42%). Roughly 40% are in favor of sending government funds directly to Ukraine, with a majority of Democrats (54%) in support but only a quarter of Republicans (24%).
According to a recent poll by AP-NORC and Pearson, there has been a slight increase in the number of Americans who believe the U.S. should play a less active role in addressing global issues. In comparison to a previous poll conducted in September, 45% of respondents now hold this view, up from 33%. Among Democrats, the percentage who support a more active role has decreased from 29% to 16%.
Peter Einsig, a member of the Republican party from Tulsa, Oklahoma, stated that he maintains his belief in the United States’ involvement in foreign affairs, but expresses concern over the issue of extensive government spending and national debt.
Einsig expressed a greater inclination towards supporting assistance to Ukraine if there was increased monitoring of how the funds were utilized overseas, along with a clear timeline for the duration of U.S. support.
“We lack transparency regarding the exact destination of the funds,” stated 40-year-old Einsig. “It’s a significant lump sum.”
40% of adults in the United States believe that Ukraine is an ally that has similar interests and values as the U.S. This perspective is most prevalent among Democrats, with 53% holding this belief. Independents (28%) and Republicans (29%) are less likely to view Ukraine as a country with shared values and needs. Approximately half of Republicans consider Ukraine a partner with whom the U.S. should work together, but do not see it as a nation that shares American values.