Why 23 House Republicans voted no on Ukraine aid package

Twenty-three House Republicans voted "no" on the Ukrainian aid bill on Thursday, citing the national debt, uncertainty of the loan's effectiveness and the possibility of non-monetary options as their primary concerns.


The $1 billion in loan guarantees package overwhelmingly passed the lower chamber, with not one Democrat voting no. The Senate will tackle the issue next week.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said he believes that the U.S. “shouldn’t be borrowing money from the Chinese in order to send it to the Ukrainians.”

Rep. Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungImpeachment demonstrates dire need for term limits House approves pro-union labor bill House GOP introduces bill to secure voter registration systems against foreign hacking MORE (R-Alaska) said that doing so “must be done…with caution following a review process.” Loaning money to Ukraine would otherwise be “short sighted and ill-advised,” he said in a statement.

Reps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounHundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia Joe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia California lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment MORE (R-Ga.) would have preferred to explore different options for U.S. involvement in Ukraine.

In a blog post Thursday, Sanford wrote that “the greatest threat to our safety and security is the national debt.” Rather, he proposed exploring “a whole range of creative ways to exert American influence,” including sanctioning “the Russian oligarchs who are friends of Putin, and part of the apparatus that keeps him in power.”

Broun, who is running for the Senate, likewise suggested sanctions, as well as “visa bans and the G8 boycotts among others,” which would be “more appropriate, effectual ways to send a message to Russia.”

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who running against Bround in the Senate primary, voted no as well. However, Senate hopeful Rep. Phil GingreyJohn (Phil) Phillip GingreyEx-Tea Party lawmakers turn heads on K Street 2017's top health care stories, from ObamaCare to opioids Beating the drum on healthcare MORE (R-Ga.) approved the measure.

Some House Republicans also voiced concerns about how effective the funds would be if sent to the Ukraine. Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) “had concerns with providing a guaranteed loan without any conditions to ensure the money was spent properly.”

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) was “not comfortable supporting piecemeal measures in reaction to the crisis in Ukraine without a complete understanding of the administration’s level of commitment and full strategy for U.S. involvement.”

Similarly, Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE (R-Ga.) was “very concerned,” especially because the crisis is “made more complex by uncertainty over who will be leading Ukraine after the May elections.” The Ukrainian presidential elections were planned for February 2015, but were rescheduled for May 25, 2014 after the impeachment of former president Viktor Yanukovych.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) was uncertain of who would directly benefit from the funds. “The situation in Ukraine is changing daily, we don’t know who will be in power next, and we certainly don’t want money falling in the wrong hands…it’s just a risk we cannot afford to take when we are already $17 trillion in debt.”