Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R ) said Tuesday that it is more critical for Americans to support Israel with their tax dollars when asked to choose between the Israel-Hamas conflict and Ukraine’s war with Russia.
“For me, that’s an easy answer. It’s the state of Israel because they are our strongest ally in the Middle East,” DeSantis said during a CNN town hall moderated by Jake Tapper. “We have a relationship with them that’s like no other and they have the whole world against us. They require the United States to be there to stand with them as a friend. You know, Ukraine has all of Europe these European countries need to start pulling their weight. They don’t meet their NATO dues. I mean, some of them have done Poland, Finland, but a lot of them are not doing that.”
Desantis’s comments come hours after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky met with President Biden and lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are grappling with how to move forward with foreign aid spending as the two conflicts rage in Ukraine and the Middle East.
President Biden has requested about $60 billion in additional Ukraine support as part of a more than $100 billion supplemental spending package. However, the request and the package has hit roadblocks in Congress.
When asked if he would send aid to Ukraine if he were president, DeSantis said Republicans in Congress are doing “the right thing.”
“What they are saying is, you’ve got to defend our own country’s borders before you start sending money all across this world,” the governor said. “I’ve supported in the past defensive weapons under Trump, too, because I figured, you know, try to keep Russia out. I think that that’s in our interest, but they have spent 10s of billions of your tax dollars to subsidize farming in Ukraine to subsidize small businesses in Ukraine to pay salaries for bureaucrats and pensions for Ukrainian bureaucrats.”
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This story originally Appeared on The Hill