House Oversight Committee Demands Full Accounting of All Aid to Ukraine

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

RealClearPolitics is reporting that the House Oversight Committee has dispatched a letter to the White House demanding that the administration turn over all documents and internal communications “regarding any economic assistance programs for the Ukrainian government” and to turn over other material “regarding any anti-corruption efforts” as they relate to both financial and military aid.

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Democrats in Congress failed to set up any kind of formal oversight of the $113 billion Congress has already authorized for Ukraine. Considering that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt nations in Europe, this seems criminally negligent.

“Providing security and humanitarian assistance for warfighting and reconstruction purposes comes with an inherent risk of fraud, waste, and abuse,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) wrote. The committee is insisting that the U.S. develop “oversight mechanisms” to reduce the risks made worse by mandates to spend money “quickly.”

Example: Recent revelations about unemployment fraud stagger the mind. Out of a total of $191 billion paid out in claims, at least 20% were improperly paid largely, says the Government Accountability Office, because of the haste to get the money in people’s hands.

And yet, the Democrats didn’t see fit to hold any hearings on that either.

House Republicans are casting a wide net. The committee wants a comprehensive account of “strategies for end-use monitoring of weapons, equipment, direct budgeting assistance, and any other form of economic or security assistance for the Ukrainian people.” They are also calling for all materials related to how much federal money has been spent thus far “and how much remains in the spending pipeline.”

Comer furthermore wants to know about, and calls on the administration to disclose, material related to “any benchmarks for success” of aid programs as well as “any conditions imposed on funds provided as assistance to Ukraine.”

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Last month, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) traveled to Ukraine to deliver the message in person: Any misappropriation of funds would make further aid a lot more difficult. “I said a scandal would really screw this up’ King said.

They may already have screwed the pooch.

That message was well received. According to King, “He got it immediately.” But verbal assurances are not enough to assuage Republican concerns, and according to the Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Ukraine Response report, the administration has struggled to account exactly for all the billions spent. The Pentagon Inspector General, for instance, warned that the department was “unable to provide end-use monitoring in accordance with DoD policy.”

One of the specific areas Comer is demanding answers on: The policy requires tracking the serial numbers of weapons and ammunition, as USA Today and others previously noted, to ensure they are used as intended.

Those who question the amount of aid going to Ukraine, its purpose, and where exactly it’s going are deemed “Putin Stooges.” Meanwhile, another hundred billion is disappearing down a black hole, possibly going into the pockets of Ukrainian oligarchs and Zelenskyy cronies.

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