US lawmakers narrowly reject audit on Ukraine aid
A resolution calling for an audit of US military and economic aid to Ukraine has been narrowly defeated in the House of Representatives. The measure, spearheaded by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and backed by multiple fellow legislators, was rejected by 26 votes to 22 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
The proposed audit had been strongly opposed by House Democrats, who argued that such oversight activities would have sent a wrong signal to Ukraine, which has been strongly supported by Washington in its ongoing conflict with Russia.
“This is not the time for us to be divided. We’ve held together with NATO, and the EU, and our allies. Let’s not fall into this trap,” the top Democrat on the committee, Representative Gregory W. Meeks (NY), said during the debate.
Republicans rejected such arguments, however, insisting that the measure was about transparency and accountability for Americans, rather than about sending any messages to Kiev. Greene also claimed that House Democrats were “blinded by hate” for her and were making Ukrainian oversight a purely political issue.
Despite the failure of the resolution to get through the committee, the outcome of the vote was hailed as a major win by its sponsors, as it has demonstrated unity among Republicans. Greene vowed to continue her efforts to push through the audit motion, promising to try again when the Republicans gain a slim majority in the House.
“It’s official the Democrats have voted NO to transparency for the American people for an Audit for Ukraine. But we take over in January! This audit will happen!” Greene wrote on Twitter.
While the Republicans have managed to demonstrate unity on the issue of stricter oversight in relation to continued support for Kiev, few have actually spoken against it altogether. Greene is one of few conservative Republicans who have been vocally opposed to sending billions to Ukraine.
The US has been supplying Ukraine with assorted heavy weaponry, including armored vehicles, artillery, rockets and drones, since – and even before – Russia launched its military operation against the neighboring state in late February. The total amount of funds appropriated for Kiev in military and economic aid by the US has already exceeded $100 billion in less than a year.