Last week, President Biden visited Kyiv and reassured the country that the United States stood with them. However, back in the U.S, the politics surrounding Ukraine are changing, and public support for arming Ukraine is decreasing, causing the White House to worry. Polls reveal that public support for Ukraine aid has fallen from 60% last May to 48% now. Additionally, the percentage of Americans who believe the United States has given too much to Ukraine has grown from 7% a year ago to 26% last month. Some supporters of Ukraine are concerned that growing taxpayer fatigue with shipping billions of dollars overseas may undermine the war effort before Moscow can be defeated.
There are concerns that Mr. Biden has not done enough to strengthen support for Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government is anxious enough to want to speak to Speaker Kevin McCarthy to make their case. Supporters of Ukraine aid are worried that the emerging presidential contest and growing taxpayer fatigue may negatively affect the war effort. Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist, states, “it’s this way with every foreign intervention. In the first few months, it’s always popular. People don’t like what Russia did; it’s awful. But as time goes on, war weariness is a real thing, especially in this country, especially when voters aren’t connecting what’s happening in Ukraine with their own security.”
Although skepticism of Ukraine aid has increased on both sides of the aisle, the party breakdown is significant. According to Pew, 40% of Republicans think too much has been given compared with 15% of Democrats. The good news for Mr. Biden is that Americans have grown more supportive of his handling of the war, with 48% approving of his response to the invasion in the Fox poll compared with 40% in August.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and key House Republicans like Representative Michael McCaul of Texas have pushed Mr. Biden from the other side, arguing that the president is not doing enough for Ukraine. Still, some House Republicans are putting pressure on Speaker Kevin McCarthy to block further aid to Ukraine. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who is critical of American involvement in the war, is among those pushing Mr. McCarthy to block future aid.
Although the president used his visit to Kyiv and a follow-up stop in Warsaw to express solidarity with the Ukrainians, he has talked less about the war to fellow Americans while at home. Mr. Biden has focused mainly on domestic priorities in recent campaign-style stops around the country, intending to deflect criticism that he cares more about foreigners than Americans. Aides said Mr. Biden’s speeches in Kyiv and Warsaw were intended for an American audience as well as an international one. John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said support remains powerful in Congress itself. However, a small number of House Republicans have expressed their concerns about supporting Ukraine.
In conclusion, President Biden’s reassurances that the United States stands with Ukraine have done little to quell concerns back home in the U.S. Polls reveal that public support for Ukraine aid is dwindling, and taxpayer fatigue with shipping billions of dollars overseas is growing. Supporters of Ukraine fear that the war effort may be undermined before Moscow can be defeated if more support is not given. While there is still strong bipartisan support in Congress, the shifting political landscape is causing concerns for the White House, especially with the presidential election approaching.