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Joe Biden explains why aid to Ukraine ‘supports American jobs’

Nearly two-thirds of the money for Ukraine in the pending security aid package would actually go to U.S. factories and American workers.


Rep. Byron Donalds, one of many Republican opponents of increased security aid for Ukraine, appeared on Fox Business yesterday and was asked a pointed question: “Are you prepared to see Russia win in Ukraine?”

The Florida congressman didn’t answer the question directly, which was a shame, though Donalds did respond, “Most of our country is saying, ‘What about us?’”

It’s easy to imagine some viewers finding the line compelling. Officials here and around the world are desperate to see the United States step up in support of Ukraine, and help try to prevent Russia from taking part of eastern Europe by force, but many Americans might very well wonder about the value of investing taxpayer money in Ukraine when the money could be invested in our own economy.

There are a variety of problems with such an assumption, starting with the fact that aid to Ukraine is invested in our own economy. The Associated Press reported:

As President Joe Biden pushes House Republicans to pass needed aid, he wants voters to understand that nearly two-thirds — or nearly $40 billion — of the money for Ukraine would actually go to U.S. factories spread out across the country including plants in Lima, Ohio and Scranton, Pennsylvania as well as Mesquite.

The article referenced a defense company with a factory in Mesquite, Texas, which is a Dallas suburb, where employees are hoping Congress approves a pending aid package — because it will mean more and better local factory jobs.

It’s a point the Democratic president has been eager to make.

“I want to be clear about something, because I know it’s important to the American people,” Biden said in public remarks last week. “While this bill sends military equipment to Ukraine, it spends the money right here in the United States of America — in places like Arizona, where the Patriot missiles are built; and Alabama, where the Javelin missiles are built; and Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, where artillery shells are made.

“And the way it works is we supply Ukraine with military equipment from our stockpiles, and then we spend our money replenishing those stockpiles so our military has access to them — stockpiles that are made right here in America by American workers. That not only supports American jobs and American communities, it allows us to invest in maintaining and strengthening our own defense manufacturing capacity.”

So when Byron Donalds says Americans are asking, “What about us?” it’s not unfair question, but there’s an answer Republicans seem to be overlooking.