Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R) shared a number of concerns during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2024 budget request. During the hearing, Waltz raised issue with European Union burden-sharing regarding the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Republicans like Waltz have questioned the European Union’s support of Ukraine during this time, questioning why the United States has had to contribute as much help as it has.
Rep. Waltz questioned U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and during the hearing, he provided a chart of the largest donors of military aid to Ukraine.
“When the American people see the disparity in how much the United States is providing and then how much large economies like forty-six billion versus Germany’s two-and-a-half billion versus Italy’s seven-hundred million, less than a billion, what are we doing to actually have burden-sharing with our European allies?” Waltz asked.
“This war is on their doorstep. The Germans have already backed away from their two percent commitment. What are we doing to actually get them to step up to the plate? And would you call this burden-sharing? Would you call this fair if you were an American taxpayer?” further questioned Waltz.
Waltz went on to question what “large economies” like Germany are doing to step up to the occasion.
“The EU’s economies together are the same size as the American economy, roughly. Do you think it is fair for the American people to question whether this is true burden-sharing, number one? Number two, how many countries have lived up to their two percent commitment? It’s seven, seven out of thirty. That’s pathetic,” Waltz argued, adding that “it is reasonable for the American taxpayer to be sick and tired of subsidizing European social spending.”