After a delegation of Republicans renewed their “support to provide Ukraine with everything it needs” to fight Russia on Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and 22 other House Republicans demanded more transparency from federal agencies on the taxpayer dollars that is flowing to Ukraine.
US taxpayers have already committed over $113 billion in aid to Ukraine’s fight with Russia, which is based on many years of territorial claims going back to World War II.
“It is vital that government entities handling these funds verify that they are used for their intended objectives in order to minimize and limit the risk of fraud, waste, and abuse,” wrote the 23 House republicans. “The Committee needs records and information to better understand how the Departments of Defense, State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development oversee these funds.”
The members justified their audit by citing current corruption in Ukraine. In the midst of US help, Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky has fired a number of key officials for reportedly indulging in bribery, using government cars for personal use, and buying overpriced food supplies for Ukrainian military.
One day after the officials were fired, John Kirby claimed there were no “signs that our funding assistance has fallen prey to any type of corruption in Ukraine.”
“I would even go so far as to say the same thing about security assistance,” Kirby stated on January 25, 2023.
Conservative House Republicans rebutted Kirby’s statements in the letter. “Yet, based on Mr. Kirby’s words, the US National Security Council appears to be unaware of this corruption problem, raising fears that US agencies are not undertaking supervision of taxpayer support to Ukraine.”
The call for openness comes as Rep. Michael McCaul and four Republican House members visited Ukraine on Tuesday to express their support for Zelensky’s choice not to negotiate a peace treaty.
Zelensky told senators that US taxpayers should be spending more money on military assets such as expensive F-16 fighter planes and longer-range artillery on his wish list.
“We talked mostly about Zelensky’s requirements for winning this battle,” McCaul stated. “We have solid bipartisan support to provide Ukraine with what it needs to win.”