Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Mike Turner (R-OH) appeared on ABC News’s This Week on Sunday and pledged that aid for Ukraine will continue to flow unimpeded once Republicans have a majority in the House in January.
McCaul, who will likely head the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the next Congress, also called for the Biden administration to send longer-range weapons to Kyiv. He said that his criticism of the Biden administration was that it “slow-walked” military aid to Ukraine by being hesitant to provide longer-range weapons.
McCaul said the US should provide Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), artillery munitions with a range of up to 190 miles, so Ukrainian forces can hit targets inside Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014.
Ukrainian attacks on Crimea will likely lead to major escalations from Russia. Moscow didn’t start launching large-scale attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure until October, after the truck bombing of the Kerch Bridge, which connects the Russian mainland to Crimea.
When asked if Ukrainian strikes on Crimea would “incite Russia,” McCaul said the peninsula could be targeted since the US doesn’t recognize it as Russian territory. “Crimea is not part of Russia under international law. So if they can hit into Crimea, I think that’s fair game,” he said.
Both McCaul and Turner insisted that Republicans will support continuing to arm Ukraine but said there is growing support for more oversight. “I think the majorities on both sides of the aisle support this effort,” McCaul said. “I think everybody has a voice in Congress. And the fact is, we are going to provide more oversight, transparency, and accountability. We’re not going to write a blank check.”
A group of House Republicans who oppose US aid to Ukraine led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) recently introduced a bill that would audit the funds Congress has approved to spend on the war. The legislation will likely be voted down by Democrats, but Greene said she would reintroduce the bill in the next Congress.