Money To Support Ukraine May Be Coming To Your Hometown

Bob McConnell
April 20, 2024
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Friday’s print edition of The Washington Post included another excellent piece by Marc Thiesen on where much of the money appropriated for military support of Ukraine is actually spent.

Mark participated in the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Victory Summit in the U.S. Capitol last December, discussing this subject and setting out the truth regarding these appropriations, a truth that flies in the face of arguments made by many opposing funding Ukraine, including Members of Congress and others that are too often accepted by members of the public.

I am sending the article out as a blast because many on our mailing list do not get the Post, and I believe everyone should be aware of the facts, and we must know and keep in mind the Members of Congress who vote against our country’s vital national security interests in Ukraine.

As for what is happening in Congress, it is hard to keep ahead of the action right now, but on Saturday, we should learn much more about whether Ukraine funding will be approved and, if so, how much.

Our understanding is that the Pentagon is preparing a package of military support to be ready to act when funds are available.

This will be only the second tranche the U.S. has sent since it “ran out of funds” in December.  (The $300 million emergency package last month.)

Of the nearly $61 billion for Ukraine expected to get through Congress, approximately $48 billion would go to the Pentagon to finance arming Ukraine, replenish weapons, and pay for military operations in Europe.

The bill says $23.2 billion for the military to replenish stocks of weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine.  Another $13.8 billion would go toward the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative for the Pentagon to purchase new weapons for Ukraine.

And $11.3 billion would finance intensified troops operations in Europe.

The legislation reauthorizes the Pentagon to send up to $7.8 billion worth of existing weapons from military inventories to Ukraine, which would then be replaced by the added funding in the package.

How fast will the vital support get to Ukraine?

It will vary, but yesterday was not soon enough.

On to Mark’s article: Know which Members are doing what and not doing what. Remember their names.

The Washington Post


Here are the U.S. congressional districts benefiting from Ukraine aid

By Marc A. Thiessen

Columnist | April 18, 2024 at 10:35 a.m. EDT

If you knew that most of the military aid that Congress approves for Ukraine was being spent right here in the United States, quite possibly in your own congressional district — strengthening our defense production capacity and creating good manufacturing jobs for American workers — would you want your representatives in Washington to support it?

As the House prepares to vote on a new military aid package for Ukraine, the map above details the congressional districts that have been getting Ukraine aid money, including examples of the weapons systems being produced. As this map shows, military aid not only protects Ukrainian civilians and advances U.S. national security — it is also good for workers and manufacturing communities right here at home.

Providing military assistance to Ukraine is the right thing to do. American-made weapons are protecting Ukrainian civilians from Russian bombardment, stopping Russian forces from seizing Ukrainian cities and slaughtering their residents, and decimating the Russian military threat to NATO. It is in both our moral and national security interests to help Ukraine defeat Russia’s unjust aggression.

A Ukrainian artillery unit fires an M777 howitzer at Russian armored vehicles in southern Mykolaiv region on November 2022. (Heidi Levine for The Washington Post)

But our military aid to Ukraine is also revitalizing our defense industrial base, creating hot production lines for the weapons we need to deter potential adversaries and creating manufacturing jobs in the United States. That’s because 90 percent of the $68 billion in military and related assistance Congress has thus far approved is not going to Ukraine but is being spent in the United States, according to an analysis by Mark Cancian of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

With a team of researchers at the American Enterprise Institute, I have catalogued the weapons systems being produced in the United States for Ukraine, identifying the congressional districts where they are being made and how House members voted on the funding. We analyzed contracts and news releases and spoke to defense industry experts, diplomats and Pentagon officials to determine where U.S. tax dollars end up. We found that our military aid is providing a major cash infusion to 122 defense production lines in 65 congressional districts across the country that directly benefits American workers — and that doesn’t count all the suppliers that provide these contractors with parts or all the shops, restaurants and other businesses that support the factories rolling out weapons in these districts.

While many members of Congress voted in favor of aid that is going to their districts, many whose congressional districts have been prime beneficiaries have been vocal opponents of Ukraine aid. Here is a regional breakdown of where Ukraine aid is going, along with the members who represent those districts.


[The article included charts of state, congressional districts, House members from those districts and weapons examples from those districts. Unfortunately, the charts would not copy. RAM]


A lot of Ukraine aid is going to congressional districts in the South whose members oppose it. For example, Ukraine aid is funding High Mobility Artillery Rocket (HIMARS), Hellfire and Javelin engineering in Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R) Niceville, Fla., district. It is funding HIMARS launchers and VAMPIRE Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems munitions in Rep. Bill Posey’s (R) Melbourne, Fla., district. It is funding HIMARS guidance sets and AN/TPQ-53 radar systems in Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s (R) Clearwater, Fla., District; HIMARS and Javelin final assembly in Rep. Barry Moore’s (R) Troy, Ala., district; and HIMARS rocket motor production in Rep. Alex Mooney’s (R) Rocket Center, W.Va., district. It is funding production of C-4 explosives for Ukraine in Rep. Diana Harshbarger’s (R) Kingsport, Tenn., district and Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM-ER) glide bombs in Rep. Josh Brecheen’s (R) Grove, Okla., district.

This despite those members’ opposition to the funding.


Workers in Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R) Lima, Ohio, congressional district are churning out Abrams tanks and Stryker combat vehicles for Ukraine thanks to the military aid he has opposed.


In Rep. Lance Gooden’s (R) Mesquite, Tex., district, Ukraine aid is also funding a brand-new factory that is expected to produce about 20,000 155mm artillery shells a month and employ at least 125 workers after it comes online this year — despite his vote against the aid.


Rep. Scott Perry’s (R) constituents are producing Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, Bradley fire support team vehicles and Hercules recovery vehicles for Ukraine in his York, Pa., district over his objections. Americans are also making Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB) and Patriot air defense missiles in Rep. John Joyce’s (R) Letterkenny/Chambersburg, Pa., district, despite his opposition.

Like the previous military aid that Congress has approved, about 80 percent of the new military aid package for Ukraine will go to Americans, CSIS’s Cancian told me — including $23.2 billion to replenish U.S. stockpiles of weapons and equipment we have already provided to Ukraine and $13.8 billion to allow Ukraine to rearm itself through the purchase of weapons and munitions from the U.S. defense industrial base.

In many cases, the weapons being produced are not going to Ukraine at all. Instead, we are sending older versions of the weapons systems to Kyiv from our stockpiles and replacing them with brand-new, more advanced versions — thus using Ukraine aid money to modernize our military. Our aid is restarting production lines for weapons that would otherwise have remained dormant, such as Stinger antiaircraft missiles, which hadn’t been produced since 2005.

For example: The Patriot air defense system, which has been critical to the defense of both Ukraine and Israel. The new Ukraine aid package includes $1.5 billion to increase production of the most advanced PAC-3 Patriot aerial-attack interceptors. In 2018, the United States was building those missiles at an anemic rate of 350 a year. In December, thanks in part to Ukraine aid, that production increased to 500 a year — and the new aid package will increase it to 650. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R), whose Camden, Ark., district produces the most advanced of these interceptors, has a mixed record on Ukraine aid — voting against aid in 2022 but for it in 2023.

The new aid package includes $5.3 billion to reach the Army’s goal producing 100,000 155mm artillery rounds per month — money that will benefit factories receiving Ukraine aid for this purpose in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Bristol, Pa.; Camden, Ark.; Kingsport and Cordova, Tenn.; Middletown, Iowa; Coachella, Calif.; and Mesquite, Tex.

It includes $550 million to produce Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) which are currently being built in Camden, Ark., Lincoln, Neb., and Springboro, Ohio.

It includes $348 million to produced TOW antitank guided missiles which are already being manufactured with Ukraine aid in Diné and Farmington, N.M, and Tucson, Ariz., and $227 million to produce Javelin antitank missiles with existing production lines in Farmington, N.M.; Orlando; Tucson, Ariz.; and Troy, Ala., as well as funding for many other critical weapons systems.

These investments will help protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian aggression, while strengthening America’s defenses so we are prepared to deter future adversaries.

How will members of Congress vote? In a forthcoming essay, I will let you know who voted for — and against — defense jobs in their districts.

Co-Founder, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
Director of External Affairs, Friends of Ukraine Network
The introduction is Mr. McConnell’s and does not necessarily express the views of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation or the Friends of Ukraine Network (FOUN)