US funding for Ukraine arms has poured into Pennsylvania, Arizona and Texas

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration has been circulating on Capitol Hill the first breakdown of which U.S. states have benefited from the billions of dollars spent on arming Ukraine, in a move to gather more support from Republicans who have voted against aid for Kyiv.

While three of the eight Republican members of Congress from Pennsylvania have been voting against funding to help stop Russia’s invasion, the data shows the Keystone State has received $2.364 billion – the most of any state – in spending and investments to build arms and ammunition, according to documents seen by Reuters.

In Texas, 18 of the 25 Republican U.S. representatives have voted against Ukraine aid. At the same time, Texas has received $1.45 billion to produce 155 millimeter shells and other weapons. In Arizona, three of six Republican representatives voted against aid while $2.196 billion poured into the state.

During his latest request for $106 billion in new funds for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific region and border enforcement, U.S. President Joe Biden on Oct. 20 emphasized that arms for Ukraine equals jobs for Americans.

He noted some of the money would go to U.S. companies to replace equipment sent abroad and mentioned Patriot missile systems that are made by RTX’s Raytheon in Arizona, and “artillery shells manufactured in 12 states across the country,” naming Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas.

Pennsylvania and Arizona are pivotal swing states that will be critical to Biden next year.

In recent days the administration has circulated maps among lawmakers on Capitol Hill showcasing the state-by-state breakdown for the $27 billion worth of investments, and spending on “munitions and tactical vehicle procurements.”

A vocal bloc of Republicans has opposed sending aid to Ukraine, saying taxpayer money should be spent at home, but a majority of Republicans and Democrats in Congress still support aid to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government.

Companies in four states on the Biden administration’s map – Arizona, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Wisconsin – are home to manufacturing facilities that are collectively receiving contracts totaling more than $1 billion for their products that aid Ukraine. Another $18 billion in contracts is spread around manufacturing facilities located in more than two dozen other states.

The conservative Defending Democracy Together group’s “Republicans for Ukraine” campaign has been tracking Republican rhetoric and voting patterns on Ukraine aid legislation. A report card by the group gave “poor” or “very poor” grades to 18 of 25 Republican representatives from Texas for their lack of support for Ukraine. It gave “poor” or “very poor” grades to two of Wisconsin’s six Republican representatives, to one of Arkansas’ four Republican representatives and to three of Pennsylvania’s eight Republican representatives.

Still, further aid for Ukraine has a hard road ahead. In his first major legislative act as Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson introduced a bill addressing Biden’s request for aid to Israel, separating it from Ukraine and other needs.

Johnson told a news conference before the November Congressional recess, “Ukraine will come in short order. It will come next.”

Yet Johnson voted against Ukraine aid repeatedly before he became speaker last month. House Democrats have overwhelmingly voted in favor of the 2022 and 2023 Ukraine-related supplemental spending bills.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Chris Sanders and Matthew Lewis)