WASHINGTON – Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million grassroots activists, released a statement from Acting Executive Director Ryan Walker following the consideration of the Hawley/Risch/Wicker amendment to establish a special investigative team to conduct oversight on U.S. aid to Ukraine as part of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“Last night, Senate Democrats blocked a Hawley/Risch/Wicker amendment to advance serious and effective accountability and oversight measures for U.S. aid to Ukraine. By establishing a lead inspector general for aid, this amendment would have been a critical piece in helping to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars from fraud and abuse. As the conflict in Ukraine continues and proponents advocate for sending additional tax dollars over in aid, public accountability and oversight must be the highest priority.
Congress has already approved over $110 billion in aid to Ukraine, but the American people have still not seen publicly available oversight of economic and budgetary support for Ukraine, President Biden’s explanation of U.S. strategy in the region, and a plan for U.S. involvement or commitment to Ukraine, including reconstruction efforts. While President Biden pledged to support Ukraine ‘as long as it takes,’ Congress must seriously commit to evaluate any requests or efforts for additional U.S. aid by a specific set of criteria to protect U.S. taxpayers and interests.
First, there must be publicly available accounting of how the U.S. economic and military aid has been used in Ukraine. Second, any additional aid must be considered on its own merits and paid for, rather than using off budget emergency accounting gimmicks and mislabeling its use as disaster relief. Third, the Biden administration must articulate a plan that defines the end goal, expected U.S. commitment, and answers on issues like accommodating for impacts of drawdown authority and assurances of further commitments from our European partners.
The Hawley/Risch/Wicker amendment was an opportunity to begin fulfilling this criteria, but Senate Democrats voted against accountability and oversight measures for U.S. taxpayer dollars going to Ukraine. Conservatives must demand these questions be answered and minimum requirements met ahead of any future consideration of U.S. Ukraine aid.”