Heritage president calls Ukrainian aid ‘typical Washington game,’ avoids effective Russian ‘deterrence’
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The president of one of the nation’s most prominent conservative think tanks has come out against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine currently being debated in Congress.
“A strong America is the ultimate deterrence to Russia—and to China,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts tweeted Friday. “It’s also the top moral responsibility of our elected leaders. What will not deter Russia is a typical Washington game of using people in crisis to rush a $40 billion package that hasn’t been vetted or debated.”
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Roberts was responding to a tweet from National Review’s David French who referred to the aid package as a “bargain.”
Roberts added in a follow-up tweet that it is not the “responsibility” of conservatives to “rubberstamp” the spending package.
“It is not the responsibility of @Heritage, or of the conservative movement, to rubberstamp The Swamp’s broken policymaking process or to accept false choices between supporting allies and governing responsibly,” Roberts posted. “Both aims can be achieved — if we have the courage to do so.”
Roberts told Fox News Digital that the Heritage Foundation is not opposed to assisting the “heroic” efforts of Ukraine in its war against Russia but must first ask “what is in the best interest of the American people.”
“The Heritage Foundation supports helping Ukrainians, especially if there’s been a full analysis by Congress using its committee structure and its custom of debates to actually have that conversation,” Roberts said. “At the same time we’re having that analysis we ought to be weighing priorities and Congress is really broken on how it goes about spending the money of the American people.”
The bill, which includes military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, cleared the House earlier this week by a vote of 368 to 57. All 57 “no” votes were cast by Republicans who have argued the money is vaguely allocated and would be better spent at home to combat issues such as surging inflation.
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“The gall of members of Congress lecturing us when jamming through a $40BB Ukraine funding bill with untold slush funding, with no actual debate, no amendments, no opening of American oil & gas, and 4 hours to read before beginning to vote,” Republican Congressman Chip Roy, who voted against the package, tweeted this week.
The Senate is currently weighing the $40 billion in additional aid to Ukraine as its war with Russia continues to rage on. Both Sen. Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer want the package passed immediately but Sen. Rand Paul has held up the vote over concerns the money needs oversight.
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“My oath of office is to the U.S. Constitution, not to any foreign nation,” the Kentucky Republican tweeted. “Congress is trying yet again to ram through a spending bill – one that I doubt anyone has actually read – and there’s no oversight included into how the money is being spent.”
Roberts told Fox News Digital that the American people are “behind” Rep. Roy and Sen. Paul and want to stop and “actually debate” the Ukrainian spending.
“We want to help Zelenskyy and the Ukrainians,” Roberts said. “They are heroic. It’s in the interest of America to stop Vladimir Putin. But it’s not in the interest of America to continue spending money we don’t have. That is the source of inflation.”