President Joe Biden’s administration is doing its best to track where the $20 billion in military aid it sent to Ukraine is going, as Republicans warn of impending audits when they take control of the US House of Representatives in January, Fox News reports.
Presumptive House Speaker Kevin McCarthy previously said his party would not give Ukraine a “blank check” to fend off a Russian invasion. A potential audit would determine what, if any, portion of U.S. aid ends up in the wrong hands. The Biden administration’s previous tracking efforts have inspected only a fraction of the aid given to the country.
The Republican push for increased oversight enjoys some bipartisan support in Congress. However, some staunch allies of Ukraine fear that the party will completely cut off aid to the country, the TV channel noted.
Top Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green has vowed to “hold our government accountable” for spending in Ukraine, and some of her colleagues across the aisle are echoing the message.
“Taxpayers deserve to know that investments are going where they are intended,” Democratic Congressman Jason Crowe told the Washington Post. “In any war, there can be missteps and misallocation of supplies.”
Lawmakers agree that current controls appear woefully inadequate, with the Biden administration inspecting just 10 percent of the 22,000 weapons the U.S. provided to Ukraine between February and Nov. 1, according to the Post.
But U.S. allies in Europe expressed hope that Republican skepticism about aid to Ukraine would not lead to massive funding cuts.
“It will benefit Putin,” UK MP Tobias Ellwood said in October. “If America pulls out, Putin can pull victory out of the mouth of defeat.”
McCarthy justified his criticism of the aid packages for Ukraine with the situation in America, whose economy threatens to fall into recession.
“I think people are going to be hit by a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” McCarthy said last month. “They’re just not going to do it. … It’s not a free blank check.”
Nonetheless, America’s funding for Ukraine has been largely bipartisan under Biden, and many Republicans say there’s no reason the funding can’t continue in some form.
“No one in the Republican leadership has called for ending aid to Ukraine,” Representative Mike Turner of Ohio said Monday. “People on the Republican side are saying, ‘Why should we pass a $40 billion package to send $8 billion in Ukraine?”