Republican lawmakers are demanding more accountability over the billions of dollars of aid sent to Ukraine following a report stating that some of the aid was not making it to its intended destination.
A report from CBS last week detailed that, especially early on in the conflict, oversight of weapons transfers from the United States to Ukraine was limited. One source told the outlet in April that as little as 30% of the supplies were making it to their intended target.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who spoke out against a $40 billion Ukrainian aid package in the House in May, said he was not surprised by the CBS report.
“This news shouldn’t surprise anyone. Like it does with everything else, Congress threw tens of billions of dollars at a problem, patted itself on the back, and called it a day,” he told The Daily Wire. “This way of doing things has to stop. I am willing to consider measures to support our allies, but I was elected by the people of this country, not anywhere else.”
He also said that Congress needed to spend more time debating on bills and allow more time for amendments to be made on impactful legislation.
CBS later updated its report to add that, according to the source, the transfer of aid had improved since April and that a U.S. defense attaché had arrived just this August for “arms control and monitoring.”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) was also critical of the spending and the revisions made to the CBS report, and said that massive aid packages passed through Congress needed more oversight.
“CBS news reported facts that are inconvenient to the pro-Ukraine consensus here in the swamp – and then scrambled to walk it back. This media episode is egregious, but unsurprising,” he told The Daily Wire. “Anyone who raises critical questions about the lack of oversight on Ukraine funding is tarred as a ‘Putin puppet,’ which is an utterly ridiculous charge.”
The revisions made to the CBS report were explained in an editor’s note at the top of their original report, saying that the estimated percentage of aid reaching the front lines was from April and that since that time, delivery had improved — though no specific numbers were given.
The Ukrainian government told CBS that U.S. defense attaché Brigadier General Garrick M. Harmon arrived this month to supervise transfer of aid. The Ukraine Centre for Strategic Command was critical of the initial report, saying that there was more oversight than the initial report implied.
In April, Jonas Ohman, the president of an organization moving aid into Ukraine, told CBS Reports that only “30-40%” of aid was making it to its intended destination. He also said his group, which does not supply weapons, had to avoid various factions in the country playing “power games” to deliver the aid.
“There are like power lords, oligarchs, political players,” he said. “The system itself, it’s like, ‘We are the armed forces of Ukraine. If security forces want it, well, the Americans gave it to us.’ It’s kind of like power games all day long, and so eventually people need the stuff, and they go to us.”
The Daily Wire has reached out to CBS News for further clarification.
Bishop also told The Daily Wire that it was crucial for Americans to know where the money Congress was spending was going, and that billion dollar bills needed increased oversight.
“In this case, where our government has spent more money in 6 months than was spent in the first two years of the war in Afghanistan, it is even more crucial,” he said. “I’ve been consistent on this issue and continue to be – Americans deserve to know how our money is being spent without being smeared as so-called Russian stooges.”