House panel to hold hearings on aid to Ukraine amid GOP schism

Michael McCaul, Gregory Meeks
Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, left, and Ranking Member Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., attend a full committee hearing about China, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin/AP

House panel to hold hearings on aid to Ukraine amid GOP schism

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The House Committee on Foreign Affairs announced it will convene a hearing on aid to Ukraine next Wednesday amid GOP infighting on the matter.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) has nudged the Biden administration to deliver “the right weapons” to the war-torn nation in its efforts to stave off Russian aggression, but other prominent Republicans have cast aspersions on the burgeoning price tag for the sweeping aid disbursed so far.

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“I think there’s enough support on both sides of the aisle. Majority in the Democratic Party, majority in the Republican,” McCaul told CNN’s State of the Union back in January, “We have to educate our members. I don’t think they quite understand what’s at stake.”

Witnesses expected for the hearing include Diana Shaw, deputy inspector general at the State Department; Nicole Angarella, acting deputy inspector general at the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Robert Storch, inspector general at the Department of Defense.

Additional witnesses may be called upon as the hearing draws near, according to a press release. The hearing will be titled “Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability of Ukraine Assistance.”

Throughout last year, Congress approved over $113 billion in both military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, according to Committee for a Responsible Budget. Not all of that aid has been delivered.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) previously underscored that Ukraine should not receive a “blank check” and foreshadowed an uptick in scrutiny prior to his ascension to the speakership. Other Republicans, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), floated legislation to audit the aid and raised concerns about both the price tag and the potential to prolong the war.

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Presidential aspirants have similarly splintered on Ukraine, with former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have contended that backing Ukraine is not a “vital” United States foreign policy interest. DeSantis, who has not yet declared his candidacy, ignited a firestorm over his remarks.

Simultaneously, others such as former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence have affirmed support for Ukraine.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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