Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the head of the House Armed Services Committee, said Saturday that the growing calls for more oversight of the billions of dollars the US is spending on Ukraine are "part of Russian propaganda."
While the majority of Republicans strongly favor continuing to arm Ukraine, even the more hawkish GOP members have said they favor increased oversight for the aid. Smith said that the concern from Republicans for more transparency "makes me a little crazy."
"Ukraine is spending the money really well; that’s why they’re winning," Smith said at the Reagan National Defense Forum, according to Defense News. “Yes, we need oversight, but we don’t need that as an excuse to not fund what we’re doing."
Last month, a small group of House Republicans opposed to arming Ukraine led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced a bill that would require an audit of the funds that the US has spent on the war so far. Greene said that if she needed to, she would reintroduce the legislation after the next Congress is sworn in this January.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is expected to be the speaker in the next Congress, has said a Republican-controlled House wouldn’t send a "blank check" to Ukraine.
McCarthy later downplayed his comments and said the lack of oversight was the issue, and other Republican leaders insisted they would keep arming Ukraine. But McCarthy’s comments were still enough to prompt a push to approve a massive new Ukraine aid package.
The White House is looking for Congress to approve $37.7 billion in new Ukraine aid during the lame-duck period. If authorized, the new funds will bring total US spending on a proxy war on Russia’s border to about $105 billion.