Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), a co-chair of the congressional Ukraine Caucus, said this week that he’s not sure if the Ukraine war is “winnable” and called for the US to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to pursue peace talks.
Harris is also a member of the Freedom Caucus, which has many members who have opposed US support for Ukraine. But Harris has been a staunch supporter of the proxy war against Russia throughout the conflict.
“Is this more a stalemate? Should we be realistic about it? I think we probably should,” Harris said at a town hall on Tuesday night, according to POLITICO. Discussing the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Harris said, “I’ll be blunt, it’s failed.”
“I’m not sure it’s winnable anymore,” Harris added. His comments are a sign that the new $24 billion in spending on the Ukraine war that the White House has asked Congress to approve won’t receive as much support as previous packages.
When asked if he would support another tranche of spending on the war, Harris said, “If there is humanitarian monies, nonmilitary monies, or military monies without an inspector general, I’m not supporting it.” President Biden’s request includes economic and humanitarian assistance and no additional oversight for military aid.
“I think the time has come to realistically call for peace talks. I know President Zelensky doesn’t want it,” Harris said. “But President Zelensky, without our help, he would abjectly lose the war. And with our help, he’s not winning. It’s a stalemate now.”
Chief among his reasons for not supporting more spending on the Ukraine war was the cost. But Harris also cautioned against bringing Ukraine into NATO and starting “World War III.” Harris is in a position to influence spending as he is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.