Missouri's members of Congress split on Ukraine aid; all but one banned from Russia

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Missouri's 10-person delegation on Capitol Hill diverged in their support for emergency aid to Ukraine this month, which President Joe Biden signed into effect Saturday.

The $40 billion package provides money for military and humanitarian assistance, including replenishing U.S. equipment stores and funding public health and medical programs during the war. It also allows the U.S. to buy weapons from contractors and provide those weapons overseas under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

The Show-Me State's two Republican senators split on the package in a Thursday vote. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who is not running for re-election, voted 'yes' for the aid; U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley joined 10 other Republicans in voting against it.

Hawley called the $40 billion proposal "a return to nation building" prior to the vote, and told Fox News that he believed it went against a "nationalist foreign policy" and that the money could be better spent on domestic priorities.

"It seems to me to be part of this unfocused globalism that unfortunately many in my party have embraced in the last couple of decades," Hawley said.

Ukraine: What Missouri's congressional delegation said upon Russian invasion

Blunt told reporters Thursday in Republic that it was the United States' obligation to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia.

"My view is we need to give Ukrainians what they need to fight with, as long as they need it, particularly if the other NATO-allied countries are doing their share, and they are doing their share," Blunt said. "I mean, this needs to be a shared responsibility.

"We don't want to have the repetition of what happened in World War II, but we've already had a little of it."

More: Five big takeaways from the Missouri legislative session, heading into election season

It is not the first split vote on a major spending proposal between Blunt, who is part of GOP Senate leadership, and Hawley, who has been among the most vocal critics of the Biden administration and its priorities. Blunt supported and Hawley opposed a trillion-dollar infrastructure package that passed last year.

The Senate passed the Ukrainian aid package 86-11. Three Democrats did not vote.

Missouri's House delegation splits 6-2 on Ukraine aid package

Missouri's representatives also came down on both sides in a May 10 vote on the Ukrainian aid proposal.

Both Democrats — U.S. Reps. Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver — joined four Republicans — U.S. Reps. Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner — in voting 'yes.'

Two Republicans, U.S. Reps. Billy Long and Vicky Hartzler, voted against the aid package. Both are running for Blunt's open U.S. Senate seat in the August primary.

Long, who represents southwest Missouri, shared Hawley's sentiment that the dollars would be better spent in the U.S.

"We have way too many problems here at home that have our people struggling for me to have even considered voting to send $40 billion to Ukraine," Long tweeted Monday. "I was a no. I was in the minority as was (Hawley) in the Senate. The only question now is when will they be back for more?"

Hartzler's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday and she has not commented on the bill or her vote on social media.

The House passed the package by a 368-57 vote. Republicans made up all of the 'no' votes, with two Democrats and three Republicans not voting.

All but one of Missouri's congressional delegation banned from Russia

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a new list of 963 Americans banned from entering the country this weekend. Among the names, alongside Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and others, are nine of Missouri's 10 members of Congress.

All eight representatives in the House are included in the list, along with Blunt. Hawley was not included on the list.

Hawley's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Galen Bacharier covers Missouri politics & government for the News-Leader. Contact him at gbacharier@news-leader.com, (573) 219-7440 or on Twitter @galenbacharier.

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Missouri congressional delegation split on $40B in Ukraine aid