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Ukrainian-Born Congresswoman Defies Heritage, Votes Against Aid Package

April 30, 2024

 

 

 

U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, the sole Ukrainian-born member of Congress, made headlines recently when she voted against a $61 billion aid package aimed at supporting her homeland in its conflict with Russia.

Spartz, who has been a vocal advocate for Ukraine in the past, defended her decision by emphasizing the need for better oversight of U.S. funds and opposing what she termed as “blank checks” for the Ukrainian cause. She stressed the importance of prioritizing U.S. border security, aligning herself more closely with conservative House Republicans and her deeply conservative central Indiana constituency.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Hamilton County GOP, Spartz expressed her dismay at the notion that her heritage should dictate her stance on the Ukrainian conflict. “My responsibility is the protection of American people,” she asserted during a recent interview.

The aid package, part of a larger bill that also included assistance for Israel, Taiwan, and other global hotspots, was passed by the House on April 20, the Senate on Tuesday, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Spartz’s decision to vote against the aid package has stirred controversy, particularly in light of her background. Mike Murphy, a former Indiana state representative and political commentator, noted that funding for Ukraine isn’t a top priority for Republican voters, with many expressing greater concern about border security.

Spartz’s stance has not gone unchallenged, especially by her opponents in the upcoming GOP primary. State Rep. Chuck Goodrich, one of Spartz’s main challengers, has criticized her original support for Ukraine, arguing that she puts “Ukraine first.” Goodrich, who has been vocal about the need for strong border security, emphasized the threat posed by illegal drugs entering the U.S. through the southern border.

Despite facing tough competition in the primary race, Spartz retains certain advantages, including her incumbency and support from former President Donald Trump. However, she faces significant financial disparities, with Goodrich outspending her by a considerable margin.

Spartz’s complex relationship with Ukraine adds another layer to her reelection campaign. While she has previously condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she has also been critical of the Ukrainian government, accusing it of corruption. In her recent speeches to voters, Spartz focused on broader issues such as party hypocrisy and the dangers of socialism, drawing on her experiences growing up in the Soviet Union.

As the primary election approaches, Spartz remains determined to “fight the righteous fight,” positioning herself as a staunch defender of conservative values and American interests.

 

Credit: AP

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