Rubio Slams Biden: Florida Used as Pawn in Ukraine Aid Standoff

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, is urging Congress to separate disaster relief funding from aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration has requested $12 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address the upcoming peak hurricane season. However, the request also includes an additional $24 billion for Ukraine, which has raised concerns among conservatives who argue that it amounts to a “blank check” for the war-torn country.

Rubio, who represents a state heavily affected by disasters, criticized the inclusion of Ukraine aid as a “cynical political manipulation” and called for separate consideration of the disaster relief funds. He accused President Biden of holding Americans hostage by tying domestic disaster relief to foreign military aid.

Washington has already committed over $110 billion to counter Russia’s actions in Ukraine with bipartisan support. However, some conservatives are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of oversight over these funds, suggesting that they could be subject to fraud and waste.

While Rubio initially expressed support for Ukraine assistance after the invasion by Russia in February of last year, he has joined other conservatives in calling for more oversight. He has also requested a national strategy from the Biden administration regarding the war effort in Ukraine.

This shift in Rubio’s rhetoric reflects a larger trend among conservatives, who have embraced a more populist viewpoint. However, Rubio remains a strong critic of China and has taken a hawkish stance on the country.

The Senate has shown some willingness to support further oversight of Ukraine aid, with 50 senators voting in favor of creating an office to monitor the funds. However, the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass.

In addition to Ukraine aid, the stopgap spending bill is also complicated by border-related funding. House conservatives are demanding additional measures to address the flow of migrants at the southern border, which could further complicate the passage of the bill.

Written by Staff Reports

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