There is no end in sight to the grueling 21-month Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the U.S. is bearing a great deal of the cost to continue funding Ukraine’s defense efforts. At the same time, Congressional Republicans are fighting for additional funding for our own border and attempting to reduce the swell of migrants seeking amnesty under the Biden Administration.
Congress and the Biden Administration have sunk more than $75 billion dollars in military and economic aid into the Russia-Ukraine conflict since it began, with no tangible resolution on the horizon. While Americans largely sympathize with Ukraine, the public wants to set a timeline for scaling down U.S. military aid. In addition, the public is growing increasingly favorable of a fast end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict – even if that means Ukraine ceding a share of the territory to Russia.
To add to the issue, Democrats are reluctant to put the same level of resources and political investment into addressing our own border crisis as they are into addressing Ukraine’s. This is prompting Senate Republicans to demand Democrats work with them to reform U.S. immigration laws and reduce the impact of asylum-seekers before proceeding with more funding for Ukraine.
Republicans seek to reduce the record-number of asylum seekers that have entered the United States since Biden took office by raising the threshold for “credible fear of persecution”, reinstating the Trump-era remain in Mexico policy, and requiring migrants to seek entry at specified locations.
Biden is planning to “resettle” as many as 125,000 refugees in the year ahead, largely from South America, despite a majority of Americans wanting immigration reduced and stricter amnesty requirements.
At the same time, the public is growing weary of the United States continuing to provide military funding to Ukraine without an end date. Recent opinion polls show an increasing number of Americans believe Congress should set a limited time frame in which to pledge military support to Kiev.
There is also increasing appetite for demanding that the war be ended swiftly, even if that means allowing Russia to keep a portion of the land it has seized. This is another indicator of the public’s growing desire to avoid costly international conflicts with little to gain and to refocus on U.S. priorities.
According to new polling from Gallup, a full 61% of Americans say there should be an end date for providing aid to Ukraine, while just 37% say the U.S. should continue to provide aid without an end date.
This is a highly partisan topic, with 84% of Republicans and 63% of Independents compared to 34% of Democrats saying there should be a limit to the length of time the U.S. provides support to Ukraine.
Women, non-whites, and Millennial and Gen X voters are more likely to say aid to Ukraine should have an end date according to Gallup.
A plurality of Americans (41%) also say the U.S. is doing too much in Ukraine, up seventeen percentage points from August of last year. Thirty-three percent of Americans say the U.S. is doing the right amount in Ukraine, and one quarter believe the U.S. isn’t doing enough.
Republicans and Independents are the driving force behind wanting to scale down U.S. involvement in Ukraine, with almost two-thirds (62%) of Republicans saying the U.S. is doing too much, up from 43% last fall. Forty-four percent of Independents believe the U.S. is doing too much, up from 28% last fall, while just 14% of Democrats say the U.S. is doing too much, up from 10% last fall.
Americans are also increasingly saying that the war should be ended quickly, even if that means Ukraine ceding a portion of recently captured territory to Russia.
The share of Americans who say the war should be ended quickly is up twelve points from last fall, while the share who say Ukraine should continue fighting Russia is down twelve points.
According to the poll, it is Republicans and Independents who increasingly call for Ukraine to end the conflict with Russia as soon as possible, while Democrats largely say Ukraine should continue to fight over the disputed territory. Fifty-five percent of Republicans, up from 46% last fall, say the conflict should be ended swiftly. Likewise, 49% of Independents, up from 34% last fall, say the conflict should be ended swiftly. Just 19% of Democrats, down from 20% last fall, agree.
Most Americans are no longer tolerant of handing a blank check to Ukraine with no end date while leaving our own border in chaos. Voters are increasingly demanding Congress limit immigration levels and reform the U.S. amnesty program, as well as set a firm limit on Ukrainian aid. Fiscal responsibility, as well as America First principles, are defining elements of the modern conservative movement. These principles are also increasingly appealing to Independent voters.
Manzanita Miller is an associate analyst at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.