Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s bill to audit Ukraine aid is racing toward a House vote

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s legislation to force a full audit on the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on U.S. military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine has survived a key vote, putting it one step closer to a floor vote in the House.

The Georgia Republican’s resolution cleared the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a 26-19 vote amid growing calls by Republican lawmakers for more scrutiny over the unprecedented assistance to Kyiv.

Congress has approved more than $113 billion in economic aid and military assistance for Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

Conservative lawmakers say there has not been enough accountability over how the money has been dispensed, despite the Pentagon and State Department outlining plans to track the flood of weapons and assistance provided to Ukraine.

“Our country is run by stupid warmongers that are so clueless and disconnected with what the American people want that they are literally leading us into World War III,” said Ms. Greene said last month when introducing the measure. “That’s why I’m introducing a resolution to find out exactly where our money is going.”

Democrats blocked Ms. Greene’s measure in the last Congress, calling it an extremist ploy to “undermine strong bipartisan support for Ukrainian freedom and sovereignty.”

“I’ve got to tell you, I can’t help but feel frustrated that here we are again,” Rep. Gregory W. Meeks of New York, the top Democrat on the committee, said when the resolution cleared the committee on Friday. “We considered this exact same measure in the last Congress. It was, at that time, divisive and ill-advised and it remains so today.”

Committee Chairman Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican, has been an ardent supporter of providing U.S. aid to Ukraine and has pressed the Biden administration to step up efforts to field more lethal military assistance to thwart Russia’s ongoing assault.

He has also been critical of President Biden for failing to deter Russia’s full-scale invasion last year.

Still, he said on Friday that he supports robust oversight of the assistance.

“The American taxpayer deserves to know how this money is being spent, and I’m committed to exercising intense congressional oversight on all of our assistance to Ukraine,” he said.

Other Republicans have voiced skepticism or outright resistance to U.S. aid for Ukraine. Those calls have intensified as the White House acknowledges there is no end in sight for Ukrainian forces to drive out the Russian invaders.

While most GOP lawmakers remain committed to providing support to help Ukraine defend itself, party leaders have said such support is not a blank check. There are also signs of waning support for the war among voters.

According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research last month, 48% of Americans say they support the U.S. continuing to provide weapons to Ukraine, while 29% say they oppose and 22% neither favor nor oppose the shipments.

That is down from 60% who said they were in favor of the U.S. sending weapons in May, less than three months into the war.

Just 37% of Americans favor sending government funds to Ukraine, while 37% oppose and 23% neither favor nor oppose, according to the poll. 

The share of Americans who say the U.S. should play a “major” role in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine dropped to 26% from 40% in March 2022. Almost a quarter of the public says the U.S. should not have a role at all.

At a recent hearing, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican, pressed Pentagon officials about how taxpayer dollars were being spent in Ukraine. The officials assured him that there has been no evidence that any aid had been pilfered through corruption or that any weapons had ended up in the wrong hands.

Mr. Rogers warned that oversight over U.S. aid to Ukraine is about more than just accounting.

“It’s about ensuring the administration is setting strategic goals and implementing a policy to achieve them,” he said. “That is where I have very real concerns.”

He also echoed criticism of the administration’s slow rollout of aid to Ukraine and warned that further hesitation would only prolong the war.

“This conflict must end,” Mr. Rogers said. “And the president must be willing to do what it takes to end it.”

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