Ukraine-Born Democrat Opposes Foreign Aid Bill, Wants Border Issues Prioritized

A Ukrainian lawmaker in Congress has voted against military aid for her home country. Republican US Rep. Victoria Spartz is the first Ukraine-born member of the US Congress, but instead of supporting recent legislation to give Ukraine billions of dollars to fight its war against Russia, Spartz spoke out against it, saying America should not write “blank checks” for foreign causes.

Rep. Spartz, who represents a conservative region of Indiana, said she is “kind of appalled” at the idea that she should prioritize Ukraine, saying that as a US lawmaker, her duty is to America and the American people. She made the remarks at a political event in Hamilton County, attended by her GOP rivals – most of whom argue that American interests, particularly the southern border, should be a bigger priority for politicians than the Ukraine conflict.

State Rep. Chuck Goodrich, for example, has previously lambasted Spartz for putting “Ukraine first.” Commentators consider him Spartz’s strongest competitor, and he has reportedly outspent her by millions of dollars in the primary campaigns.

In Hamilton County, Spartz made clear her opposition to the $61 billion military aid package recently signed off by President Biden after clearing both Congressional chambers following months of deadlock. It caused a rift in the Republican party, with more than 100 GOP lawmakers voting against it, while House Speaker Mike Johnson gave it his backing.

It was initially assumed that Rep. Spartz would become a natural voice for her home nation, but she has expressed skepticism about how prior US aid had been spent, as well as criticism for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. She publicly accused Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff, Andriy Yermak, of corruption and said it is “naïve” to think military goals can be achieved without proper spending oversight.

The Congresswoman also believes, however, that a Russian victory would have serious and unwelcome implications. She has referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as “a crazy man” who is committing a “genocide of the Ukrainian people.”