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GOP lawmakers press Austin on military aid to Ukraine

The group set a deadline of Feb. 20 for Austin to provide a litany of documents related to the provision and monitoring of aid to Ukraine as well as any conditions placed upon the use of certain materials.

Published: February 7, 2024 9:16pm

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, his panel, and Ohio GOP Sen. J.D. Vance on Wednesday announced a probe into taxpayer-funded military aid to Ukraine following an Inspector General report indicated that large portions of war material were unaccounted for.

Writing to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a Tuesday letter, the Republicans demanded that he account for Department efforts to track and monitor equipment provided to Ukraine. The U.S. has allocated more than $47 billion in military aid to Ukraine since 2014, with most of that total coming amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

"The Committee remains concerned about the Department of Defense’s (DoD) ability to conduct end-use monitoring of weapons, equipment, and other defense articles going to Ukraine," they wrote. "It is vital that DoD works to ensure weapons and other forms of security assistance are used for their intended purposes, that they do not fall into the hands of our enemies, and that the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse is mitigated."

"Despite multiple assurances from DoD that every mechanism is in place to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of U.S. taxpayer funds going to Ukraine, the DoD Inspector General (DoD IG) has alerted Congress of failures by DoD to track enhanced weapons and other defense articles going to Ukraine," they continued. "DoD IG's findings in this report contradict the commitments DoD made to the Committee guaranteeing that effective mechanisms are in place to track American weapons and equipment going to Ukraine... DoD’s failures in tracking sensitive military equipment provided to Ukraine are unacceptable."

The group set a deadline of Feb. 20 for Austin to provide a litany of documents related to the provision and monitoring of aid to Ukraine as well as any conditions placed upon the use of certain materials.

The announcement of the probe came the same day that Senate Republicans blocked a bill to pair foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel with border security reforms. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has since moved to advance only the foreign aid portions of the bill.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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