Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) said Wednesday that the “vast majority” of Republicans favor sending aid to Ukraine amid questions of how a GOP-controlled House will approach the issue.
Waltz, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the comments to The Hill and also made the baseless claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to invade NATO countries.
“I think the vast majority of the conference realizes that we either pay now or pay later, that Russian President Vladimir Putin fully intends, if he takes Ukraine, to move on to NATO-allied countries like the Baltics, and Poland and Finland,” he said.
Waltz said that the main Republican concern is the lack of oversight. “The issue is, and this is where members are raising concern, is we have no oversight of where this aid is going and exactly how it’s being used,” he said.
Waltz’s comments came after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggested that if the House is majority Republican after the mid-term elections, Ukraine aid may be more difficult to pass. McCarthy said, “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” McCarthy said.
Spending billions on the war in Ukraine has had strong bipartisan support, but 57 House Republicans voted against the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that was passed in May, and more GOP members are said to be questioning the policy.
Republican leadership is still strongly in favor of arming Ukraine, and Congress is working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the aid spigot keeps flowing. If Republicans win in November, the Biden administration could push Congress to pass legislation for Ukraine aid that will cover an entire year during the lame-duck period. So far, the US has authorized over $67 billion to spend on the war, more than Russia’s entire military budget for 2021.