Several Republican lawmakers have called on the White House to account for the amount of US assistance that has been sent to Ukraine in recent months. They have highlighted discrepancies in various official estimates, citing a gap of $31.1 billion between the estimates provided by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the administration’s latest Ukraine supplemental budget request. In a letter penned by Republican Senator JD Vance and Representatives Chip Roy and Matt Gaetz, they expressed concerns about the lack of clarity regarding the total figures for Ukraine aid and the transparency of the administration.
Seeking more detailed data from the OMB, the lawmakers accused the administration of not including the requested information in its latest response. They also raised concerns about the oversight of the money allocated for Ukraine and questioned the forthrightness of the current administration.
These demands for transparency come amidst a budget battle in Washington, where lawmakers are debating whether to include an additional $25 billion for Ukraine in a stop-gap funding bill to avert a government shutdown. Some GOP members oppose this provision, fearing that it will delay the urgently needed bill before the September 30 shutdown deadline, as reported by the New York Times.
The White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, warned that the failure to pass the supplementary aid would have a significant impact on the battlefield in Ukraine. He stated that the current funds are sufficient for the next few weeks, implying that further assistance is urgently required.
However, the Pentagon representative, Chris Sherwood, contradicted Kirby’s statement, clarifying that a government shutdown would not affect US military operations related to Ukraine. This includes the training of troops and provision of arms, which are considered essential and exempted activities.
As questions linger about the exact amount of US aid sent to Ukraine since the escalation of the conflict with Russia last year, it is known that Washington has approved numerous arms shipments worth billions of dollars. In addition to financial assistance, the shipments have included advanced weapons such as the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Patriot air defense battery, and the HIMARS multi-launch rocket platform.
Moscow has consistently criticized foreign arms shipments to Kiev, asserting that they will not alter its military objectives and will only prolong the conflict. In response to the approval of Abrams shipments in January, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declared that the American weapons would “burn like all the rest of them,” referring to other Western military hardware neutralized by Russian troops.
In conclusion, Republican lawmakers are demanding transparency regarding the amount of US assistance sent to Ukraine. They are concerned about discrepancies in official estimates and seek clarification from the administration. The debate over additional funding for Ukraine and the potential impact of a government shutdown on military operations continues. Meanwhile, Russia maintains its opposition to foreign arms shipments to Ukraine.