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Meuser Explains “Present” Vote on $61 Billion in Ukraine Aid

The House passed the bill despite Meuser’s vote.

Over the weekend, US Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-9), who represents Schuylkill County in Congress, voted “Present” on a controversial $61 billion aid bill for Ukraine in its two-year fight against Russia.

The House of Representatives did approve the bill but Republicans in the chamber were divided on its passage. Meuser straddled the fence on the issue by voting “Present” instead of taking a side on it.

The Canary questioned Meuser via email over the weekend, looking for an explanation on that vote. On Tuesday, the Congressman offered statements on that vote and his thoughts on other foreign aid and border security bills that were before the House over the weekend and last week.

Specifically in reference to Ukraine funding, for which the House approved $61 billion, Meuser says not all that money is military aid. He did not support the idea of sending $10 billion of that $61 billion to the eastern European nation for “economic assistance.”

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“I am fully supportive of the Ukrainian people’s efforts against Russia’s invasion led by the war criminal Vladimir Putin, and I continue to support the provision of necessary defense articles to safeguard Ukraine’s freedom,” Meuser says. “I also believe the U.S. aid to Ukraine should be strictly military aid.”

Meuser says he’s also concerned with the lack of “parity” when it comes to supporting Ukraine financially. He says the US is spending far more than European Union nations – $140 billion to $75 billion – and “That is not fair to American taxpayers and needs to be addressed,” he says.

“My vote reflected my support for Ukraine, but I could not support the overall legislation because of these flaws,” Meuser adds.

That “Present” vote on Saturday drew attention from Meuser’s critics who wondered why he took that stance, or lack thereof, since he represents a district – specifically, Schuylkill County – with the highest concentration of people with Ukrainian descent.

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