Republican Rep. Ron Estes, who represents Cowley County and much of south central Kansas in the U.S. House of Representatives, voted against the latest weapons and support bill for Ukraine Tuesday.
Estes joined just 57 others in Congress to vote against the $40 billion aid package. The final tally in the House was 368-57. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate where it is expected to pass.
Fellow Kansans Jake LaTurner, a Republican, and Sharice Davids, a Democrat, voted in favor of the bill. Tracy Mann, who represents Kansas’ 1st District, joined Estes in voting against the additional military aid to Ukraine.
On April 5, Estes voted against a House resolution in support of NATO. That resolution, which passed 362-63, called on the U.S. government “to uphold the founding democratic principles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and to establish a Center for Democratic Resilience within the headquarters of NATO.”
Estes was on the only Kansas representative in the House to vote against it. Estes did not respond to any emails or calls to his office that asked the reasoning for his vote.
On Feb. 24, when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Estes issued a statement on the emerging conflict.
“Our prayers are with the people of Ukraine as they endure this unprovoked and unjust attack on their sovereignty,” Estes said in a media release from his office. “Former KGB officer and tyrant Vladimir Putin is disrupting stability in the world for his personal gain without regard to loss of life or even the will of his own people.
“There must be consequences for such a reckless and dangerous action. President Biden should take a strong stance against this invasion of an independent nation.”
Estes did support the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022” that was signed into law Sunday at the White House, which temporarily waives certain requirements related to the President’s authority to lend or lease defense articles if the defense articles are intended for Ukraine’s government or the governments of other Eastern European countries affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.