The budget fight was about vice signaling, not spending.
It’s Not About the Money
The Republicans in Congress have delayed a shutdown for another 45 days while they continue their family food fight. They are all very angry with one another, and they seem to agree on only one issue: They hate Matt Gaetz. But don’t blame Gaetz, who is clearly having the time of his life being famous. The Republicans, as the economist Michael Strain noted, have for weeks been careening toward a Seinfeld Shutdown, a budget impasse about … nothing.
Some $6 billion of aid to Ukraine, however, was removed from the budget, a temporary casualty of the near shutdown. (I say “temporary” because I have confidence that sensible members of Congress will act to restore the funds.) Republicans are trying to cloak their opposition to military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in a lot of codswallop about oversight and budget discipline. But the opposition to aid for Ukraine among Republican extremists on the Hill is not about money.