Especially now that the Republicans are in charge of the “purse strings” and have recovered the majority in the US House of Representatives, panicked Democrats are searching for explanations for how they lost a sizable sum of money. Democrats are also seeking information on the money.
According to Fox News, “There is bipartisan support in Congress for legislation to require oversight of the lethal aid and defense weapons supplied to Ukraine, which is now roughly $20 billion and counting,” adding:
Republicans have threatened audits when they regain control of the House in January, so President Biden’s administration is rushing to track the roughly $20 billion in military aid it has delivered to Ukraine.
Kevin McCarthy, a likely candidate to become House Speaker, has stated that his party will not be writing Ukraine a “blank check” to thwart Russia’s invasion. How much, if any, of the U.S. aid is finding its way into the wrong hands would be determined by a future audit. Previous tracking initiatives by the Biden administration only looked at a small portion of the help sent to the nation.
There is some bipartisan support in Congress for the Republican initiative to increase oversight. However, some steadfast Ukraine allies worry that the party will completely stop providing aid to the nation.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a fiery conservative from Georgia, has vowed to “hold our government accountable” for spending on the Ukraine, and several of her ally lawmakers have echoed the sentiment.
According to Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., “The taxpayers deserve to know that investment is going where it’s intended to go. In any war, there can be missteps and misallocation of supplies.”
According to the Post, the Biden administration only inspected 10% of the 22,000 weapons it gave to Ukraine between February and November 1. The senators concur that the existing monitoring efforts are appallingly insufficient.
However, U.S. friends in Europe have voiced optimism that Republican criticism of Ukraine help won’t result in a broad budget reduction.
Tobias Ellwood, a member of the UK Parliament, stated in October that doing so “You’d be playing into Putin’s hands.If America pulls back, Putin could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.”
McCarthy’s criticism of the aid initiatives is based on the fact that the American economy is on the verge of entering a recession.
Focusing on McCarthy, Fox News continued with its report:
“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” McCarthy said last month.
However, under Biden, support for Ukraine was mainly bipartisan, and many Republicans believe there is no reason it cannot continue in some capacity.
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, stated on Monday that “No one in Republican leadership has called for an end to aid for Ukraine.”
Senator Rand Paul of the Republican Party interjected that he had expected a special counsel to have some control over the spending.
“Didn’t someone try to legislatively mandate a special inspector general to scrutinize Ukrainian spending? Oh, that’s right, it was my amendment and most Democrats AND Republicans opposed any semblance of oversight,” Paul tweeted in response to the Fox News article.
Didn’t someone try to legislatively mandate a special inspector general to scrutinize Ukrainian spending? Oh, that’s right, it was my amendment and most Democrats AND Republicans opposed any semblance of oversight. https://t.co/dYTSpbLi2O
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 27, 2022
The misuse of cash and associated losses dominated Sunday’s news:
Rep. Michael McCaul tells @MarthaRaddatz that Republicans will provide “more oversight, transparency and accountability" to Ukraine spending with new House majority.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 28, 2022
In an interview with ABC News, US Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and former chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security during the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses, discussed what he anticipated the Republican-led House would look like going forward.
“I think the majority’s on both sides of the aisle to support this effort. I think, you know, everybody has a voice in Congress. The fact is we are going to provide more oversight, transparency and Accountability. We’re not going to write a blank check, the last 40 billion dollar package, that past Martha. It was given to us if the day of the vote, and members-only had a matter of hours to go through all these pages of 40 billion dollars, The Republicans are not going to rule like that. We have a voice now, and we’re going to do this with accountability. We will weigh it with transparency to the American people. These are American taxpayer dollars going in.
Does that diminish our will to help the Ukrainian people fight? No, but we’re going to do it in a responsible way and I think it’s very important that the American people understand what’s at stake here.
If we lose and Ukraine, there is going to be worldwide implications with China, Russia and North Korea.”
More on this story via The Republic Brief.