Veteran group launches $500K ad blitz urging support for Ukraine

A veteran-focused progressive political action committee (PAC) is launching a half-million-dollar ad campaign urging seven House Republicans to support a Senate-passed national security bill featuring Ukraine aid.

VoteVets’s nonprofit arm, Action Fund, will roll out a $530,000, two-week television ad buy starting Tuesday. The six ads will directly urge seven House GOP members to support the bill the Senate passed last month.

The ad blitz will target Republican Reps. Jen Kiggans (Va.), Marc Molinaro (N.Y.), Brandon Williams (N.Y), Juan Ciscomani (Ariz.), David Valadao (Calif.), John Duarte (Calif.) and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (Ore.).

The only change across the six advertisements will be the name of the House GOP member the narrator references, except for one advertisement calling out Valadao and Duarte together, in which the narrator will instead say “House Republicans.”

“The war criminal dictator is biding his time, waiting, while [member’s name] plays right into his hands,” the narrator in the ad says, as the footage shows the war in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Ukrainians have more than held their own, taking back over half the land Russia seized. But now, [member’s name] is holding Ukraine aid hostage, following orders from Donald Trump. If Ukraine falls, the line between freedom and fascism moves west, and it could be American boots on the ground next. Give Ukraine what they need to win, before it’s too late.”

The new ad campaign comes as Congress struggles to pass aid for Ukraine.

President Biden has urged the lower chamber and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to bring the national security supplemental, which includes $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, to the floor.

Johnson has yet to do so, arguing the supplemental lacks strong enough provisions for enforcing security on the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill also faced opposition from former President Trump, who is expected to face Biden in the November presidential election.

House members have also offered two competing discharge petitions as alternatives to the supplemental, to provide Ukraine with help as it faces difficulties with dwindling ammunition. Both discharge petitions would require 218 signatures to be forced into consideration.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) sponsored one, which would force the vote on the Senate-passed supplemental. It currently has 191 signatures as of Tuesday, according to the House clerk records.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s (R-Pa.) competing discharge petition would force a vote on a package featuring foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as some border provisions House GOP members have demanded. Fitzpatrick’s version does not feature humanitarian aid, a key component for House progressives. His petition currently has 16 signatures as of Tuesday, according to House clerk records.

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