Showing just how broken Washington, D.C., and Congress are, Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., lamented on Newsmax how a government shutdown stops pay for American troops, but not Ukrainians.
"I think we're going to remove the Ukraine funding out of it as we should, but here's the irony of it: As a government shutdown, our troops don't get paid, but Ukrainian troops do; how ironic is that?" Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and Secretary of the Interior during the Trump administration, said on Wednesday's "Wake Up America."
The House GOP must pass the most important appropriation bills first, starting with those at the heart of U.S. national security, according to Zinke.
"Remember, on the appropriation bills, we came in with two objectives: curb spending, remove the woke," Zinke told co-hosts Rob Finnerty and Alison Maloni.
Funding the military and protecting the border must come before Congress debates on curbing other massive Democrat spending agenda items. Furthermore, funding for Ukraine must be dealt with separately from U.S. national security funding, Zinke urged.
"The question of Ukraine, how much in funding is largely segregated out, and that deserves a separate discussion," he said.
"The appropriation bills today really don't fund Ukraine to any significance at all. The larger question is what are our objectives, and what's the plan in Ukraine?"
The lack of a plan or objectives for victory makes sending a "blank check" to Ukraine unwise, according to Zinke.
"I was a Navy SEAL, and I went on a lot of missions and battles in my lifetime, but I've never went on even an operation without objectives and a plan," Zinke said. "And we are committing billions of dollars in Ukraine, basically a blank check. We're paying for pensions and equipment. We don't know what's going on.
"Now, we have cluster bombs, and when it comes down to many members like myself, look, I want to know objectives and a plan."
The time for a publicly outlined set of objectives is long overdue from President Joe Biden, particularly amid repeated funding asks, Zinke continued.
"I think the administration, President Biden, owes the American people and Congress: What's the plan in Ukraine?" he asked. "Because right now, it doesn't seem that we have a plan. I've asked the highest levels of government, both foreign ambassadors and our government. What's the plan? They don't have one.
"It's time we have a plan, and clearly defined objectives in Ukraine."
Americans need to know the U.S. is secure before we commit more funding to Ukraine, according to Zinke.
"You know, a lot of people don't see China; they don't see Ukraine, but they see the border every day and every city," Zinke said of a first priority border security appropriations bill.
"And what this bill does, the border security bill, is basically, you know, it looks about 32 feet high and about 1,000 miles long and empowers the Border Patrol and ICE to do their duty, and it gives surveillance upfront.
"So curbing the budget, so you've got to defend the border, and make sure we had defense and you have to make sure we keep the promise to our veterans, and that's what's going to be on the floor."
In the end, while the U.S. is not going to stop funding Ukraine emergency responders and soldiers, it has to keep sending checks to our own military, Zinke concluded.
"A shutdown could mean our troops are not going to get a paycheck," he said. "I can tell you as a commander: Don't mess with the sailors' pay."
About NEWSMAX TV:
NEWSMAX is the fastest-growing cable news channel in America!
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.