Mainstream Republicans back Marjorie Taylor Greene audit of Ukraine aid

On Tuesday, Mainstream Republicans backed a resolution by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia to audit U.S. military aid for Ukraine. This was their strongest signal yet that they expect the House to shift control next year and that the Biden administration would be subjected to more scrutiny for its support of the war effort.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee defeated the measure 26 to 22 due to the unity of Democrats. They still control the panel and stated that the measure could send a message about America’s support for war to Ukraine.

“This is not a time to be divided,” stated Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, New York’s top Democrat. “We have remained united with NATO and E.U. Our allies. We must not fall for this trap.

However, Republicans rejected this argument and supported Greene’s resolution. They endorsed the legislation of a politician, who quickly went from being a fringe House member to an influential party power broker.

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Representative Michael McCaul, Texas’ top Republican on the committee, gave a preview of the upcoming battles in Congress. He said that the administration should be ready for “responsibility” and “accountability.”

He said that “the era of writing blank cheques is over,” echoing a phrase used by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R.Calif) in October, who was seeking to be the next House Speaker. McCarthy clarified later that he was supportive of aid to Ukraine, but wanted to have greater oversight over the assistance.

President Biden has pledged tens to billions of dollars of aid for Ukraine.

It was not clear if the mainstream Republicans would vote for Greene’s measure. Greene is a strong supporter of Donald Trump and his opposition to Ukraine aid. This has led to extensive internal debates within the party, which is led by long-time supporters of the use of military force in the world.

The executive branch must transmit all communications and documents related to U.S. aid for Ukraine to Congress no later than “14 Days after the date of adoption of this resolution.”

Tuesday’s Hawkish Republicans stated that they would support the measure since it didn’t recoup any future or current funding for Ukraine.

All this is about accountability. Transparency is the key. What are we afraid? “We have billions upon trillions of dollars flowing to another country,” stated Rep. Tim Burchett from Tennessee.

Democrats claimed that Republican priorities were not in line with reality at a moment when Russian missile strikes were hurling down on Ukrainian civilian targets and infrastructures. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), said that there will be ample time to examine transparency and accountability. “Right now, we are in the middle of war.”

Right-leaning Republican Reps. Thomas Massie, Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Barry Moore(Ala.) and Andrew S. Clyde. It was supported by moderates like McCaul and Peter Meijer from Michigan.

Although it was defeated, Greene stated that she would bring the resolution back to Congress if Republicans retain the majority.

“We takeover in January!” She tweeted, “This audit will occur!” after the vote.

According to polling, the Tuesday vote is the result of a steady drop in Republican support for Ukraine aid.

According to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ latest survey, 55 percent of Republicans support military aid. This is compared to 68 percent and 80 percent respectively in July and March. According to Chicago Council’s findings, half of Republicans supported providing economic assistance for Ukraine last month. This compares with about three-quarters of those who supported it in March.

According to the survey, over two-thirds supported Ukraine’s weapons and economic assistance. About three quarters supported accepting Ukrainian refugees and sanctioning Russia.

Since August 2021, the United States has provided military assistance to Ukraine in 25 tranches. The $400 million package last month included additional arms, ammunition, and equipment. It brought the total U.S. military aid to Ukraine to almost $20 billion since President Biden’s election.

The United States will also send $53 million to Ukraine to repair its electrical systems. These systems have been severely damaged by Russian missile strikes in the recent weeks.