GOP accuses Biden of requesting new round of nearly $12 billion in aid to Ukraine to benefit Democrats ahead of midterm elections

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Republicans are questioning President Biden’s request for Congress to approve nearly $12 billion in additional aid to Ukraine this month over concerns the timing is meant to benefit Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections.

GOP lawmakers worry that the White House is pushing the aid package because they know some Republicans will vote against it without proper accountability statistics for how the money will be spent. Such opposition, they say, will then be used to falsely smear all Republicans as isolationists or lackeys of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail.

“President Biden’s latest appeal is just a superficial gimmick for the midterm elections that will only harm our country in the short and long term,” said R-Ariz Representative Andy Biggs.

GOP lawmakers say the timing of the funding request should be seen in the context of Biden’s recent behavior, particularly attempts to portray MAGA Republicans as a threat to democracy.

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“We all want to help,” Deputy Scott Perry said. “But we also need to stand up for responsibility for American taxpayers and how their money is spent and where.”
(TBEN News Digital/Haris Alic)

“In the past five weeks, the federal government has raided the former president’s home… [forgave] student loans at the same time the president is talking about half the country being ‘semi-fascists,'” said Scott Perry, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, R-Pa. “The timing seems very political, the problems [around this aid bill] seems very political.”

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A White House National Security Council spokesman told TBEN News Digital that the funding request is based solely on what Ukraine needs on the battlefield to defend against Russian aggression.

Biden is asking lawmakers to approve $11.7 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine by Sept. 30 — the TBEN by which Congress must pass a government funding bill or risk a shutdown. The $11.7 billion comes on top of the additional $2 billion the White House is asking to address the impact the Russia-Ukraine war has had on U.S. energy supplies.

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The new funding request comes after Congress provided $40 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in May. The legislation was $7 billion more than the White House initially said was needed to help Ukraine avoid the collapse.

In all, 57 Republicans in the House and 11 in the Senate opposed the package. Many argued that there were insufficient accountability measures to prevent corruption. A last-minute push within the Senate to appoint an inspector general to oversee aid was blocked by Democrats.

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“It seems that more and more MAGA Republicans are using the same soft-on-Putin playbook that we have used by former President Trump,” Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said after the bill was passed.

President Biden is asking lawmakers to approve $11.7 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine by September 30.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Biden is asking lawmakers to approve $11.7 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine by September 30. (TBEN Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republicans now worry that Biden will face similar attacks immediately before the midterm elections. Part of that mistrust has to do with the fact that the White House has never explicitly stated how long it would take the first round of aid to Ukraine to run out before it needs to be topped up by Congress.

“We all want to help, we are all shocked by what Russia has done in Ukraine,” Perry said. “But we also need to stand up for responsibility for American taxpayers and how their money is spent and where.”

Government officials have argued that the ambiguity stems from the fluid nature of the war. While they can’t determine how long the aid will last, White House officials have an estimate of how much has already been used.

Shalanda Young, the director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement last week that about “three-fourths of the aid previously provided to Ukraine by Congress has been disbursed or pledged.”

“The need here is recognized by a large bipartisan coalition in Congress and across the country, in the name of basic American values ​​that go beyond any political party: Ukraine is calling for this aid in the name of democracy and sovereignty, such as innocent people are being slaughtered,” a government source close to Biden’s job told TBEN News Digital.

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Republicans say the White House has done little to make Congress transparent about how the money is being spent. They also say the government has failed to explain its strategy for ending the war, arguing that voters are starting to take notice.

“You use whatever you want as an election issue,” said R-Mo Senator Josh Hawley. “I can tell you that voters in Missouri — I’m constantly asked about this — why are we nation building in Ukraine, but can’t secure our own border?”