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Mar 29, 2023
House Republicans Question US Spending on Ukraine Assistance
(Bloomberg) -- Congressional Republicans said billions of dollars in US assistance for Ukraine risks being misspent and could be better used for domestic priorities, a fresh sign of the party’s growing ambivalence regarding American support for the war.
While backing US support for Ukraine in its struggle against Russian invaders, Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized western European nations for not supplying as much assistance as the US.
“We’re going to continue to press them,” said McCaul, a Texas Republican. “I don’t think the United States should bear the burden of this war and responsibility when it’s in their own backyard.”
The comments came at a hearing that included testimony from the offices of inspector general for the State Department, the US Agency for International Development and the Pentagon. The officials told lawmakers there were no substantiated cases where US equipment or other assistance sent to Ukraine was diverted.
Representative Nathaniel Moran, a Texas Republican, reiterated past GOP arguments that the US was protecting Ukraine while failing to secure the border with Mexico.
Constituents “are rightfully questioning why US taxpayers have sent more than $100 billion to Ukraine to defend its borders when this administration does little to nothing to secure our own borders, particularly the southern border along the state of Texas,” Moran said.
Like other Republicans, Moran said the US should keep up its support for Ukraine in the war that began in February 2022, and his comments didn’t match more hard-line members of the party who have called for a suspension of aid.
Yet they highlighted how some Republicans are growing more skeptical of aid and are willing to use it to criticize the Biden administration.
Representative Rich McCormick, a Georgia Republican, said “the military equipment has been well accounted for,” but raised concerns about American economic assistance to Ukraine — particularly pension support for officials. “I just don’t think that’s going to be popular. I don’t think it’s going to be sustainable.’
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