Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) is criticizing newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) for comments suggesting Johnson could support additional U.S. support for Ukraine.
“To his great credit, the new Speaker has been a stalwart on the Ukraine issue — voting consistently against an endless conflict with no plan from the Biden administration,” Vance said on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s concerning to see him change his tune so quickly after being elevated to this role.”
Vance’s comments come after Johnson, in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, stopped well short of ruling out additional support for Ukraine.
Johnson, who has voted against aid packages to Ukraine in the past, said the U.S. should not allow Russia to win the war, but Republicans needed to make sure any U.S. support was accounted for.
“[W]e can’t allow Vladimir Putin to prevail in Ukraine because I don’t believe it would stop there, and it would probably encourage and empower China to perhaps make a move on Taiwan. We have these concerns,” Johnson said.
“We’re not going to abandon them, but we have a responsibility, a stewardship responsibility, over the precious treasure of the American people and we have to make sure that the White House is providing the people with some accountability for the dollars,” he added.
Vance has been sharply critical of providing funds for Ukraine and has battled Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on the issue. McConnell supports a legislative package that would provide aid for both Israel and Ukraine, while Vance and other critics of U.S. spending in Ukraine say those issues should be separated.
Johnson — in the same interview with Hannity — said the spending should be bifurcated.
Last month, Vance signed a GOP letter asking the Biden administration to cut off Ukraine from future U.S. funds, citing a lack of transparency about where the money is going and the results on the front lines.
“The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counteroffensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan? What does the administration define as victory in Ukraine?” reads the letter, with more than two dozen signatures from senators and members of Congress.
“Yesterday at a classified briefing over Ukraine, it became clear that America is being asked to fund an indefinite conflict with unlimited resources. Enough is enough. To these and future requests, my colleagues and I say: NO,” Vance wrote on X, sharing the letter.