Republicans in Congress are slowing down the process of helping Ukraine, media
Illustrative photo from open sources
Even last year, the future speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, promised that Ukraine would not receive “blank checks”; from Congress under Republican control. Since that time, Kyiv's friends in both houses of the American Parliament have been watching warily for attempts to undermine or even stop the flow of money and weapons needed to fight back against Russia.
One anticipated tactic has been calls for an audit of the billions of dollars the Joe Biden administration has spent on economic support and armaments for Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
This week, the newly minted senator began testing the “audit waters.” ;. The office of James Vance (Republican, Ohio) has begun sending out its letter to Congressional Republicans, marking the first test for Ukraine policy in the new Congress, and in particular in the House of Representatives, which is now controlled by the Republican Party, writes the Washington Post.
Vance's letter is not addressed to Biden, but to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shandala Young. In it, the Republican demands that the administration “make public a full and comprehensive account of the US government's spending on Ukraine”; and its war-torn neighbors. Wens also stressed that he wants this information “before any votes are held on any appropriations related to Ukraine.”
“It sounds like this: without a detailed report, there will be no money. Conventionally, this approach goes further than previous attempts», – writes the publication.
The publication notes that the new Congress, or rather the Republicans in it, will face a test. Will they agree to condition new aid to Ukraine on what the Biden administration sees as an impractical attempt to audit a war zone? What will the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives do?
“The American people deserve to know how much they are spending to support our government's efforts in Eastern Europe. I'm not going to just sit back and let the Biden administration keep this information under lock and key, – Vance said.
The Washington Post writes that calls for more transparency and accountability do not seem unreasonable. Who doesn't want to know if high-tech American weaponry is being used properly? And why not find out if the economic aid actually reaches the people it was supposed to help?
Such arguments, plus the fact that a real stop to aid is not on the table, led Republicans, who generally supported more aid to Ukraine, to side with their opponents last year when an audit resolution failed in a partisan vote in the Committee. Foreign Affairs House of Representatives. The White House and Democrats in Congress say guns and money records are kept.
«But some Ukraine supporters, including Republicans in the Senate, have privately said that the loudest calls for an audit are their colleagues in the House of Representatives, who are closely associated with former President Donald Trump. And like him, they are vehemently opposed to sending more help“, – writes the publication.
There are other problems. A September diplomatic cable published by Politico pointed to the problems one has to deal with when trying to trace money and materials in a war zone where US troops are not present. In addition, the Pentagon is failing to successfully account for its assets. The fifth failure in this field occurred in November. Most Americans still support Ukraine and the transfer of aid to it. But among supporters of the Republican Party, the proportion of those who take this position has declined somewhat. And this may explain why those who oppose aid to Kyiv insist on an audit, and not on a complete withdrawal of support. At least for now.
Prepared by: Nina Petrovich