Republicans should press Biden for more oversight of Ukrainian funds

House Republicans plan to pressure the Biden administration to significantly increase oversight of the nearly $20 billion worth of weapons the US has shipped to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began in February .

Observers have only conducted two in-person inspections of the shipments as of Nov. 1 — about 10% of the 22,000 weapons the US has shipped to Ukraine so far, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Officials told the newspaper that the State Department has a limited budget for weapons inspectors in Ukraine and that the Biden administration is taking steps to avoid being seen as directly involved for fear of an escalation of the war.

Brig. General Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, told the Washington Post that there are practical limitations in monitoring shipments, noting that they are conducted “when and where security conditions permit,” but not “close by.” the front line of the Russian war against Ukraine.”

But Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is likely to be the House Speaker when the House convenes after the first of the year under Republican control, has warned the Biden administration that there is no “blank check” for Ukraine will give.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Kevin McCarthy says there will be no more “blank checks” for Ukraine if Republicans control the House of Representatives.

And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Conservative Georgia arsonist, and a handful of Republicans this month introduced a resolution for an audit of Congressional appropriations for Ukraine.

She said she will reintroduce the resolution when Republicans take over the chamber.

“I will bring this resolution back, but I will also call for a full review. We voted no to send money there, but we will also look into what is happening in Ukraine,” she said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republicans introduced a resolution calling for an audit of aid sent to Ukraine.

Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he believes there is GOP House support for continued aid to Ukraine, but with stipulations on accountability, as he responded to McCarthy’s ” blank check” comment was asked.

“I think majorities on both sides of the aisle support this effort. I think, you know, everyone has a vote in Congress. You know, and the fact is, we will provide more oversight, transparency and accountability. We’re not going to write a blank check,” Texas resident McCaul said “This Week” from ABC News.

“We have a voice now and we will do so in an accountable manner, with transparency to the American people. That’s American taxpayer money going into it,” he said

US-made Javelin missiles
US-made Javelin missiles were sent to Ukraine to help defend against Russian invasion.

Rep. Mike Turner, the senior Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, said he personally assured Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky that there would be continued bipartisan support once Republicans took control of the House.

​But funding no longer needs to be included in “Democrat bills.”

“We don’t have to pass big $40 billion Democratic bills … to send $8 billion to Ukraine,” he said in This Week.

“Which we’re going to do — and it’s obviously been very frustrating, even for Ukrainians, where they’re hearing this large number in the United States because of burgeoning Democrat legislation and the little help they’re getting. We’re going to make sure they get what they need,” the Ohio Republican said.

Joe Biden
House Republicans intend to urge the Biden administration to tighten oversight of the billions in military equipment being sent to Ukraine.

Another member of the Republican House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Waltz, told the Washington Post that the current level of oversight is insufficient.​

“With the volumes of goods we are pushing, it is our responsibility to have third party oversight. We do this all over the world,” Waltz (R-Fla.) told the newspaper.

Waltz said he shares other lawmakers’ belief that the U.S. must continue to provide military support to Ukraine, but fears the Biden administration is afraid of using Americans to watch Ukraine use the guns.

He suggested subcontracting US veterans who are on the ground in Ukraine to report to the State Department and the Pentagon on the use of US weapons near the frontlines.

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), a former Army Ranger, urged the House Armed Services Committee to include in the defense bill instructions to audit and verify Pentagon shipments to Ukraine.

“Taxpayers deserve to know that investment is going where it’s supposed to be,” he told the Washington Post.

However, he acknowledged that in wartime “there can be missteps and misallocations of supplies,” dismissing suggestions that the Biden administration is being too lax.

“We’re not playing a mission of perfection here. This is a brutal, full-scale land war – house against house, street against street, trench against trench. Things will be lost,” he said. “We’re not trying to prevent every single piece from falling into Russian hands, but we want to make sure it doesn’t happen on a large scale.” Republicans should press Biden for more oversight of Ukrainian funds


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