Republican Representative Jim Banks has suggested that instead of providing Ukraine with a new aid package, it would be better to give each American $1,000.
Banks, who represents Indiana’s 3rd congressional district, told Fox News on Friday that the nearly $40 billion in aid approved by the House could be used to give each American $1,000.
The cost of giving each American $1,000, on the other hand, would be significantly higher than $40 billion. According to the U.S. Census Population Clock, the population is currently more than 332.6 million. This would cost more than $332.6 billion.
“That’s $1,000 for every single American, which equals $40 billion,” Banks explained.
“And with what’s going on in America right now, I’d rather be helping Americans get back on their feet than sending money abroad to foreign countries with no strings attached,” the congressman said.
If the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine was divided among Americans, each would receive approximately $120.
In its Progress Update for fiscal year 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported that it had paid out more than $800 billion to Americans across three stimulus checks in 2020 and 2021.
That far exceeds the amount of aid provided by the United States to Ukraine. Congress approved a $13.6 billion package in March, but the Senate has yet to approve the current $39.8 billion package.
Banks joined 56 of his Republican colleagues in voting against the latest aid package on Tuesday. On Friday, he told Fox News that it was a “easy no vote for me.”
As individual states continue to provide their own stimulus payments and other measures, such as tax rebates, there has been considerable speculation about a fourth federal stimulus check.
While unemployment is low at 3.6 percent in April, inflation remains near a 40-year high at 8.3 percent, while gas prices hit new highs this week, averaging more than $4.45 per gallon on Friday, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agreed on a plan to expedite the vote on approving the new aid, but Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) refused to agree to unanimous consent and single-handedly delayed its passage.
Paul had requested a change to the legislation that would allow the inspector general for Afghanistan to oversee funds spent in Ukraine. Schumer refused to change the legislation.
On Monday, the Senate will hold a procedural vote in the hopes of moving the aid package forward.