House Foreign Affairs chair plans oversight hearing on US aid to Ukraine
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) announced on Tuesday that he plans to hold an oversight hearing on U.S. aid to Ukraine next week amid ongoing concerns about the potential misuse of American assistance.
The inspectors general for the Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are set to testify at the March 29 hearing.
Biden administration officials have emphasized on multiple occasions that there is currently no evidence that the Ukrainian government has misused aid. USAID administrator Samantha Power said last month that they do not have “any evidence that U.S. assistance is being misused or misspent.”
“The key is not resting on anybody’s good will or virtue,” Power said at a CNN town hall. “It’s checks and balances, the rule of law, the integrity of officials.”
Colin Kahl, the Pentagon’s under secretary of Defense for policy, similarly told the House Armed Services Committee in February that they have not “seen any evidence of diversion” of U.S. weapons and munitions in Ukraine.
McCaul himself noted that “no significant acts of fraud or misuse involving U.S. assistance have occurred,” after leading a delegation to Ukraine and Poland last month to examine oversight efforts.
However, the three inspectors general set to testify next week have previously said that they would like to deploy auditors to Ukraine to conduct more comprehensive oversight, which has primarily been handled from afar throughout the first year of the war.
“I think we have been as creative and you know, out of the box, forward-leaning with the oversight we’ve been able to accomplish so far,” Nicole Angarella, acting deputy USAID inspector general and an upcoming witness, told The Wall Street Journal last month. “But for real comprehensive, robust oversight, it can’t be done remotely.”
“The closer we are, the more comprehensive oversight will be,” she added.
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