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Ukrainian-born Republican Congresswoman Spartz says she not to vote for $ 60 bn Ukraine aid bill

Despite her personal ties to Ukraine, Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz is opposing the latest US aid bill
Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz
Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (at center), March 2022. Credit: CNN
Ukrainian-born Republican Congresswoman Spartz says she not to vote for $ 60 bn Ukraine aid bill

Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, born in Ukraine, has voiced skepticism about the Senate’s recently passed $60 billion Ukraine aid package, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on 4 April.

Spartz, born in Chernihiv Oblast, moved to the US in 2000. She became the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress in 2021 and has been known for supporting former President Donald Trump.

Spartz initially spoke about the horrors that her friends and family in Ukraine have witnessed since the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Her 95-year-old grandmother died several months ago after a bomb blew out the windows of her apartment.

The Indiana Republican said she doesn’t support the Senate’s recently passed package that includes $60 billion in Ukraine-related spending along with funds for Israel and Taiwan.

US Congressional Republicans have been stalling the approval of new aid funding for Ukraine and Israel for months. The lack of military aid degrades Ukraine’s military capabilities, benefitting Russia. Additional money for Ukraine is expected to get a vote in some form in the House this spring.

“I understand the importance of this battle and the implications if Russia is going to prevail, but I’m also not very naive. If we don’t have proper oversight, we are not going to achieve our goals,” Spartz said. “We cannot have these never-ending wars.”

WSJ reported, citing several interviews with Spartz, that she “wants a clearer strategy from President Biden on US involvement in the war and a closer eye on how aid is spent.”

She reportedly argues that “any aid sent to Ukraine be offered as a loan” and wants “the administration to pay more attention to issues closer to home.”

Spartz joined bipartisan efforts to ban Russian oil and gas imports to the US and supported a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine approved in May 2022.

While initially a prominent voice for Ukraine after the Russia-scale invasion, delivering impassioned speeches about the dire situation in neighborhoods under attack by Russian forces and criticizing the Biden administration’s response, Spartz has shifted focus to cutting government spending and increasing healthcare transparency, the WSJ reported.

However, she also criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, drawing a rebuke from Kyiv’s government.

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