Republicans have called for an audit of the funds allocated by Biden to Ukraine
After securing control of the lower house of the US Congress, Republicans have called for a thorough review of US financial support for Ukraine.
The audit, which will examine funds allocated by the Joe Biden administration to Kyiv, will begin in January 2023, when Republicans take their seats in the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia, Thomas Massey of Kentucky and other supporters of cutting aid to Ukraine called for an inspector general to be appointed at a news conference Thursday. He should check how the funds for Ukraine have been spent so far.
Republicans said, quoted by Bloomberg, that Americans will not continue to support President Volodymyr Zelensky “without asking tough questions.” They thus risk clashing with the Biden administration and raising questions about the long-term commitment of the US to Russia’s war of aggression.
The bill envisages that within 14 days of its adoption, Congress will receive all documents on the aid provided to Ukraine, signed by Joe Biden.
But Republicans and Democrats in the Democratic-controlled House and Senate who support continuing U.S. aid to Ukraine say their colleagues behind the bill are in the minority.
Republicans have been divided on the issue for months, with Kevin McCarthy’s camp in favor of reviewing aid to Kyiv and Mitch McConnell’s in favor of additional aid to Ukraine.
The Biden administration has provided Kyiv with over $20 billion in military aid, as well as about $10 billion in humanitarian aid.
The economic aid is in the amount of about 13 billion dollars, according to The Hill. The president called on Congress to allocate $37.7 billion in additional funding for Ukraine.
Marjorie Taylor Green introduced the bill as a privileged resolution, which means it will be referred to the appropriate committee, where its members will have 14 working days to reject it or approve it for a vote in the House of Representatives. If it doesn’t go to the committee within that time frame, Green has the option to force a floor vote on the bill without it going to the committee. It’s not yet clear which House committee will consider the resolution, but Democrats are likely to veto it to avoid a vote now.
Green said she is ready to reintroduce the resolution in the next Congress when Republicans have a majority. “I will bring this resolution again, but I will also call for a full audit. We voted no on sending money there, but we will also do an audit of what is happening in Ukraine,” she said. Among the co-authors of the bill are Republicans from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky. Green referred to remarks by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who earlier said Republicans would not send a “blank check” to Ukraine in response to criticism in his party over US aid. “You’ve heard Leader McCarthy say publicly that he doesn’t see a very good chance of much funding for Ukraine going forward in a Republican-controlled Congress,” Green said, adding that she discussed the resolution with McCarthy and he said, “Okay.” McCarthy himself clarified that he is not completely against aid to Kyiv, but wants more control over the funds.