One of the major battles between Democrats and Republicans, as Congress returns this week, as well as between the House and Senate, are requests from the Biden administration for an additional $24 billion for Ukraine, an issue complicated by the Pentagon’s multi-billion-dollar accounting error in previous aid packages.
A major focus will be passing multiple spending bills or possibly a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running after the fiscal year ends on September 30.
The Pentagon said it overestimated the value of the weapons given to Ukraine over the past two years by $6.2 billion, according to The Hill. The error has been seized on by some Republicans who say that it is evidence that the Biden administration has no clearly defined plan regarding America’s commitment to the conflict. It is also being held up as a basis to deny the latest funding request.
“That was on display in a letter drafted by Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who said it would be ‘absurd’ for Congress to approve additional dollars with the administration’s ‘lack of clarity’ on how much it’s funneled to Ukraine,” The Hill also reported.
“The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counteroffensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan?” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, dated Sept. 5. “It would be an absurd abdication of congressional responsibility to grant this request without knowing the answers to these questions.”
To date, Washington has approved four rounds of aid worth $113 billion combined for Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022. Biden and his national security team have said repeatedly that U.S. aid to Ukraine will continue “for as long as it takes” to remove Russian troops from inside the country.