With funding for weapons shipments exhausted, the White House claims that it can keep the arms flowing thanks to an “accounting error”.
US President Joe Biden is “pulling an accounting scam to send more money to Ukraine,” Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed on Tuesday. One day earlier, US officials said that the next aid package for Kiev would be financed from a $6.2 billion windfall discovered in May.
The Pentagon announced in May that its accountants had overvalued previous arms shipments to Kiev to the tune of $6.2 billion, and that this money could “go back into the pot” and be used to finance future weapons transfers from US stockpiles. Crucially for the Biden administration, this “error” was discovered before the last tranche of military and economic aid money authorized by Congress for Ukraine – worth $48 billion – ran out this month.
Essentially, the quantity of weapons sent to Ukraine remains unchanged, but by declaring them overvalued, the Pentagon claims that more can now be sent. Two US officials told Reuters on Monday that the first arms package financed by this error would be announced on Tuesday.
“We have NOT even finished funding our own military … and the Biden admin is pulling an accounting scam to send more money to Ukraine!” Greene tweeted on Tuesday.
“Plus they want Congress to pass another Ukraine supplemental by combining it with emergency flooding money,” she continued, referring to reports that the White House is working on a supplemental budget proposal to fund future weapons transfers, which it apparently plans to pass by combining with an upcoming disaster relief bill.
“This is WRONG and can NOT happen,” Greene declared. “We should only be funding money to help Americans with disaster relief, not forced to vote to fund Ukraine at the same time! SEPARATE THE FUNDS because I’m NOT voting to send MORE money to a foreign war to kill MORE people!”
While Republican lawmakers have largely supported the Biden administration’s policy of arming Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” a group of hardline conservatives has repeatedly demanded that the US stop funneling money and weapons to Kiev.
This group of renegade Republicans – including Greene – held up the confirmation of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in January, relenting only when he granted them more prominent committee positions and the ability to start removal procedures if they are dissatisfied with his leadership.
As such, McCarthy will have to balance the interests of the GOP’s pro-Ukraine majority with those of Greene and her fellow isolationists whenever the next funding bill comes before Congress.