GOP Leaders Laying Groundwork for Continuing Aid to Ukraine

February 14, 2023


Republican leaders are reportedly launching an early and aggressive effort to convince skeptical members of their own party to continue U.S. financial aid to Ukraine.

“I’m very much focused on the dissension within my own party on this,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

McCaul plans to hold a hearing in the spring focused on Russian atrocities against Ukrainian civilians, which he believes “moves the dial.” 

His efforts follow a bill introduced last week by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and a group of 11 Republican lawmakers, called the Ukraine Fatigue Resolution, to try to cut off funding for the war.

That bill comes after now-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last year warned that there would be no “blank check” for Ukraine once the Republicans took majority of the House on January 3. “We want to make sure there’s accountability for everybody, the money that is spent,” McCarthy has said.

“We have to educate, where has the money gone,” McCaul said on Sunday. 

Congress approved its latest round of aid to Ukraine in December within the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package. It was designed to last through the end of the fiscal year in September. However, much could depend on the situation on the battlefield. 

Ukrainian officials anticipate a major Russian offensive to mark one year since its invasion on February 24—although it may have already begun. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has stated that Russia has amassed some 500,000 troops on Ukraine’s eastern border.

Meanwhile, any further Ukraine funding requests could face heavy resistance from Republicans amid the debate over raising the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the “extraordinary measures” the government has undertaken to prevent defaulting on its debt are likely to “be exhausted before early June.”

“We’ve got to get our financial house in order in the United States before we put any more dollars overseas for things like that,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), one of the Ukraine Fatigue Resolution’s co-sponsors. “We’ve met our goal for Ukraine.”

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has echoed McCaul’s desire for his colleagues and the public to see clearly what is happening in Ukraine and why U.S. aid is so vital.

“Russia’s atrocities are just appalling,” Turner said on Sunday. “Anyone who sees what Russia is doing and killing innocent civilians, destroying the infrastructure there, has to be moved to want to support the Ukrainians. I’m very disappointed in those who don’t see the importance of this.”

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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