In a break with some of his Republican colleagues in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher is supporting continued financial support for Ukraine in its fight with Russia.
The Green Bay Republican, who represents Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, spoke Wednesday on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show.” He said the $50 billion spent on aid since the invasion in February 2022 not only helps Ukraine but puts a check on global aggression by both Russia and China.
“Ultimately I think this is a sound investment in U.S. national security, because not only are we defending a country from authoritarian aggression, not only are we taking one of our biggest geopolitical competitors down several notches in the process, and we’re doing it without U.S. boots on the ground in harm’s way, but we’re also simultaneously dealing a blow to the Chinese Communist Party,” Gallagher said.
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When Republicans took over leadership of the U.S. House, Gallagher was named chairman of the Select Committee on China. He has called Chinese leadership the greatest geopolitical threat to U.S. security.
Speaking to WPR, Gallagher said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are closely aligned. If the U.S. begins to pull back from its support from Ukraine, Gallagher argued, it would have ramifications for China as well.
“If deterrents were to collapse even further in Ukraine, or if we were to allow Russia to totally take over Ukraine, I think it would give Xi Jinping a massive green light to make a move on Taiwan, and then we would find ourselves in a really, really serious and dangerous situation the likes of which we haven’t seen since World War II,” Gallagher said.
Some of his fellow Republicans in the House have signaled they do not favor further aid to Ukraine. Before the November elections, California U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, now speaker, said if Republicans won control Ukraine might not receive further aid. And some in the party, led by Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, have called for an audit of spending on military and economic aid to the country.
Recent polls show a majority of Republican voters are opposed to further spending on aid to Ukraine.
Gallagher admitted some Republicans are not solidly behind continuing spending.
“Some are. Some are more skeptical,” he said, saying it’s “incumbent on people like me in leadership to tease out the relationship between China and Russia” to increase support for further aid to Ukraine’s defense.
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