Republicans vow audit to track Biden's $20 bln Ukraine aid
The purpose of the audit is to track how and where the funds are being delivered - as prior suspicions point to many shipped arms ending up on the black market.
The Biden administration is currently scurrying to track down the approximately $20 billion in military aid it sent to Ukraine, amid a warning by Republicans of impending audits after they take over the House in January.
Incoming House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has previously stated that Ukraine will not receive a "blank check". The purpose of the audit is meant to track how the funds are being delivered and exactly where - as prior suspicions point to many shipped arms ending up on the black market.
Controversial Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who announced the audit decision, promised to "hold our government accountable", as other colleagues such as Rep. Jason Crow echoed to the Washington Post: "The taxpayers deserve to know that investment is going where it's intended to go," adding: "In any war, there can be missteps and misallocation of supplies."
The lawmakers called out current monitoring efforts as inadequate since the Biden administration inspected just 10% of the 22,000 weapons transported to Ukraine between February and November 1, according to the Post.
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However, US allies in Europe believe such an audit won't fully cut off funding, such as UK Parliament member Tobias Ellwood who said in October: "You’d be playing into Putin’s hands... If America pulls back, Putin could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat."
McCarthy shed light on the US economic situation with a near-recession as he said last month: "I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine... they just won’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check."
Nevertheless, a complete halt of funding has not been announced or contemplated by the GOP, mirrored by colleagues such as Rep. Mike Turner on Monday: "No one in Republican leadership has called for an end to aid for Ukraine," he said, adding: "People on the Republican side are saying, ‘Why do we have to pass a $40 billion package to send $8 billion to Ukraine?’"
Former President Donald Trump slammed Washington's generous hand-over of cash and weapons to Ukraine: The US, according to Trump, has too many problems of its own to hand money and weapons to Ukraine for its conflict with Russia, insisting that if anything it's Europe that should be providing more help to Kiev given that they're more affected by the situation.
Trump, speaking at the Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida, earlier in July, recalled how, when he was president, he pushed the EU's NATO members to increase their defense spending to 2% of their GDP. The US was “taken advantage of by Europe" back then, and now the same thing is happening over Ukraine, he asserted.
In addition to burdening the US with requests for aid, Ukraine is selling weapons it acquired from its allies on the black market due to the Kiev forces' limited ability to use them because of their lack of training, logistical challenges, and the diminishing size of the Ukrainian armed force, according to former senior Pentagon adviser Karen Kwiatkowski.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu previously said the arms supplied by the West to Ukraine were ending up on the black market and spreading across West Asia.