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26 Aug, 2023 10:00

US lawmakers rail against more Ukraine aid – Politico

Two Republicans have slammed the White House for a lack of vision and financial transparency in the conflict, according to a draft letter
US lawmakers rail against more Ukraine aid – Politico

At least two US lawmakers have objected to earmarking additional funds to support Ukraine, arguing that Washington has failed to articulate a clear strategy in the conflict, Politico reported on Friday, citing a draft letter.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve an additional $24 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Kiev despite growing skepticism among Republicans about further support for the embattled country.

Politico obtained a draft copy of a letter compiled by Senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and addressed to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young. It is dated September 5 and has been left unsigned as the Republican duo is attempting to gain the support of other lawmakers, according to Politico.

The letter chides the Biden administration for failing to provide Congress with a detailed account of US government-wide expenditures related to the Ukraine conflict.

The lawmakers also stressed that the need for a cross-cutting report on the matter had become even more pressing after the Pentagon recently acknowledged a $6.2 billion “accounting error” in Ukraine aid.

While White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan argued that the error did not suggest a lack of oversight of Ukraine assistance, the admission galvanized calls among Republicans to audit the aid. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that Americans “ha[d] no idea where all this money is going.” 

Vance and Roy pointed out that Biden’s assertion that the US would back Ukraine “as long as it takes” implies “an open-ended commitment to supporting the war in Ukraine of an indeterminate nature,” arguing that both the American public and Congress have been left in the dark as to the administration’s ultimate goal.

“What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan?” the lawmakers asked, stressing that it would be “an absurd abdication” of congressional responsibility to approve the $24 billion aid package until these questions are answered.

“For these reasons, and others, we oppose the additional expenditure for the war in Ukraine included in your supplemental request,” they concluded.

Since the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, the US has provided Kiev with more than $113 billion, a significant portion of which is military assistance. Russia has repeatedly warned Washington and its allies that weapons deliveries would only prolong the hostilities but fail to change the outcome.