GOP Promises Oversight and Transparency While Still Cutting Checks to Ukraine

Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

If anyone believed that the Republican Party would slow down monetary and military support for Ukraine, I hate to break it to you but they are still very much the same war hawks they were before the recent midterms. 

The Biden administration has pounced on the idea that if Republicans were elected to Congress and could clinch a majority in the House, support for Ukraine could potentially be in danger. Yet here we are, with a slim majority in the House and the GOP parading out their best and brightest to assuage any fears that anything might change under their watch.

So while a few Republican firebrands made bold claims that support for Ukraine would come to a complete stop, the truth is it will more than likely remain precisely the same. The soon-to-be GOP chairmen of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees said just that on ABC.

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Not Doing Enough

Republican Congressmen Michael McCaul and Michael Turner went on ABC to outline how things will be different under GOP leadership in the House. Interestingly, the way things will be different is that they will be entirely and utterly the same, with both gentlemen hinting that perhaps the Biden administration isn’t doing enough to support Ukraine.

When asked about providing longer-range weaponry to Ukraine that could reach Russian forces in Crimea, Rep. McCaul boldly stated that “Crimea is not part of Russia under international law. So if they can hit into Crimea I think that’s fair game.”

Someone, please let Rep. McCaul know that this war isn’t some board game where you roll the dice and play by set rules hoping for the best. Rep. Turner then attempted to throw some shade at the President’s party.

“The President’s got some difficulties in his own party,” said Turner. “As you know, 30 members of his party sent a letter saying, although we’re for aid, you should immediately begin negotiating some form of surrender from Ukraine.”

While I rarely find anything measured and reasonable from the Progressive Caucus, the letter differed from how the Congressman made it out. Then again, calling for negotiated peace makes you a Putin apologist these days according to some, so it’s fair game to twist the letter’s words to fit a convenient narrative.

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Empty Promises

The difference that the GOP is trying to sell to the American people is that under their leadership, there will be this reining in of reckless unaccounted-for spending and aid. 

McCaul stated that “We have a voice now and we’re going to do this in an accountable way, with transparency to the American people. These are American taxpayer dollars going in.”

This was the same argument posed by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who submitted a bill requiring a full audit of money and aid sent to Ukraine. 

According to Greene, “The American people, the taxpayers of this country deserve to know where their money is going and how it’s being spent… With the money we’ve sent to Ukraine, we could have already secured our border, but we’re not doing that.”

This is all well and good, except our government can’t seem to adequately account for funds sent to the Pentagon to the tune of $2 trillion, so my faith in the GOP’s ability to enforce anything in Congress, let alone accountability and transparency, is pretty thin.

Blank Checks

Leading up to the midterms, some Republicans made some bold claims. Greene claimed that with a Republican majority, that “not another penny will go to Ukraine!” Nobody believed that line though, not even her if she’s being completely honest with herself.

Suspected soon-to-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously said that “People are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine.”

It didn’t take long for his counterpart in the Senate to put out a statement signaling that none of these claims actually meant anything. On Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s official website, he affirmed he’d continue to support sending even more financial aid and weaponry to Ukraine.

“The Biden administration and our allies need to do more to supply the tools Ukraine needs to thwart Russian aggression,” said McConnell’s official statement.

As if sensing that perhaps his mouth wrote a check his political power can’t cash.

Congressman McCarthy came out to water down his talk of blank checks asserting his support for the status quo, later stating, “I’m very supportive of Ukraine. I think there has to be accountability going forward.”

Ah, yes, government accountability, the unicorn of the Hill.

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Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud

There seem to be a lot of bureaucrats and politicians saying the quiet part out loud. For example, McCaul said in the ABC interview that if Ukraine falls to Russia, that would give the green flag to China to go and take Taiwan.

His statement is a blatant acknowledgment that this is a proxy war we are funding that could dangerously turn into a hot war between Russia and us. Turner hammered on the Progressive Caucus for calling for negotiations. Still, the head of the military, General Mark Milley, also flirted with the concept.

He recently opined that winter might be a perfect time for Ukraine and Russia to attempt to negotiate peace, stating that a full-on victory for Ukraine is unlikely through military means alone. However, former U.S. Army Europe Commander Ben Hodges disagrees with General Milley,

“People should get their heads around the idea that Ukraine is going to defeat Russia on the battlefield, the old fashioned way,” said Hodges in an interview with Politico.

What way would that be? The way we beat the Taliban in Afghanistan? The way we defeated ISIS in Iraq? Or perhaps the way we beat North Vietnam and the Viet Cong.

Same Story, Different Day

As usual, nothing will change much in D.C., and support for Ukraine will continue with little to no oversight. We seem destined to continue repeating the same foreign policy mistakes, and no amount of elections is going to break the cycle.

Turner said of the letter from the Progressive Caucus that the letter said “the White House should decide who lives under authoritarian regime under Russia with these atrocities and the murderousness and who’s going to live under freedom.”

Besides his paraphrasing being way off, the reality is we often do just that, don’t believe me? Look to Afghanistan. 

Given that the reports show the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is unable to track funds coming into Ukraine from the United States properly, I think it will only be a matter of time, perhaps 20 years or so, until we find ourselves reading about an audit showing mass fraud and waste in our conquest to save Ukraine from their aggressor. 

I just hope we don’t do to the Ukrainians what we did to the Afghans, but my gut tells me we will.  

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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