AP Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Think the US Is Spending Too Much on Ukraine Aid

In Washington, lawmakers are considering additional federal aid for Kyiv to combat Russian aggression. However, a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reveals that nearly half of Americans believe the U.S. is overspending on Ukraine aid.

This sentiment, predominantly among Republicans, explains the growing resistance among conservative GOP legislators to President Joe Biden’s request for new Ukraine aid. They argue the funds would be better allocated to domestic needs.

Recent polling shows a slight decrease in opposition to Ukraine aid, with 45% now believing it’s excessive, compared to 52% in October. This shift is mainly among Republicans, with 59% currently viewing the spending as excessive, down from 69% in October.

Despite this, many Republicans remain steadfast against continued aid to Ukraine. Eric Mondello, a 40-year-old from Fountain, Colorado, echoed this sentiment, prioritizing domestic issues like veterans’ health care and homelessness over foreign aid.

Contrastingly, 38% of U.S. adults feel the current spending level is appropriate, a slight increase from last month’s 31%. Among Republicans, 29% share this view, up from 20% last month.

Paula Graves, 69, from Clovis, California, believes the spending amount is correct, emphasizing the threat posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the global implications of Ukraine’s fall.

The White House is urging Congress to approve Biden’s proposed $106 billion emergency package, with over $61 billion designated for the war in Ukraine. The package also includes aid for Israel, the Indo-Pacific region, and border management.

The Biden administration warns that Ukraine aid resources are dwindling. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, during a recent visit to Kyiv, pledged ongoing U.S. support.

Despite these efforts, Congress has twice stalled additional Ukraine aid in recent months. A bipartisan group in the Senate is now working on a bill combining Ukraine assistance with stricter border measures, responding to Republican concerns about prioritizing foreign needs over domestic issues.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who previously voted against Ukraine aid, now supports countering Russian aggression but faces opposition within his party. He insists on coupling Ukraine aid with tougher border policies, though it’s uncertain if such a bill would pass the GOP-controlled House.

Public opinion on Russia’s threat to the U.S. is divided, with similar levels of concern among Democrats and Republicans. However, opinions differ on supporting Ukraine, with Democrats more likely to view Ukraine as sharing U.S. values and favoring aid.

The public’s stance on U.S. global involvement is shifting, with an increasing number favoring a less active role. Peter Einsig, a Republican from Tulsa, Oklahoma, supports a role abroad but calls for more transparency and oversight on foreign aid spending.

The survey indicates differing views on Ukraine’s alignment with U.S. interests, with Democrats more likely to see Ukraine as an ally sharing U.S. values, while Republicans view it more as a partner rather than a nation with shared values.

The poll, conducted with 1,239 adults from Nov. 2-6, 2023, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.