Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has released a statement outlining conditional requirements that must be met for his support of any more American tax dollars being sent to Ukraine.
“The nation of Ukraine remains sovereign, and President Volodymyr Zelensky is alive and well, as a result of American taxpayer support over the last 20 months,” Garcia said in a news release. “The fighting spirit of Ukraine’s warfighters and their progress against (Vladimir) Putin’s forces have been impressive, commendable and inspiring. It is undeniably in the interest of the United States and our global allies that Russia is beaten back to its original lands east of the Ukraine-Russia border and held accountable for its aggression against a sovereign nation.
“In the wake of this fortunate progress on the warfront, we now find ourselves in a stalemate,” Garcia added. “President (Joe) Biden and Secretary of Defense (Lloyd) Austin have effectively become absentee stewards of the war, as both men fail to articulate our mission – or even an operational update on the war’s status – to the American public. The current lay of the land is uncertain; the status of our taxpayer-funded investments to date are not fully (accounted) for; and any exit strategy remains elusive.
“Despite these realities, President Biden continues to demand that Congress support his blank-check policy toward Ukraine. According to our commander in chief, the level of investment needed to satisfy our strategic partnership with Ukraine is an additional $24 billion, which would only satisfy 2-3 months of operations.”
Garcia added that, while he supported the early tranche of investments – which “generated significant national security and geopolitical returns” – he cannot support sending additional tax dollars to Ukraine unless the following conditions are met:
• Biden and Austin must clearly update the American public on the status of the war in Ukraine, explain why future U.S. economic and military aid is necessary, explain the consequences of ceasing American investments in Ukraine, and provide a clear explanation of why the resources being requested for Ukraine are appropriate for their strategy.
• The Departments of Treasury and Commerce must report to Congress on the enforcement and compliance of sanctions against Russia that have already been approved – Congress has yet to receive any status updates on these existing sanctions, the release said.
• All NATO members must adopt a full-sanction policy against Russia to include all oil, grain, and rare-earth minerals – these three critical exports are currently unimpacted by global sanctions, and they represent the bulk of export revenue to Russia, the release said.
• Biden and Zelensky must provide Congress with a coherent strategy for Ukraine to prevail – how does Ukraine prevail and what is the timeline?
• Biden must submit to Congress the price tag associated with the full execution of Ukraine’s strategy for victory. “Selective disclosure and incremental requests that average $10 billion per month are unaffordable, unsustainable and unacceptable,” the release said.
• Biden and Zelensky must, to the extent possible, provide Congress with a full accounting of weapon systems to date that have been sent and/or used.
• Biden and Austin must support the $800 million investment into the U.S. junior enlisted pay raise as delineated in the House of Representatives FY24 National Defense Authorization Act and Department of Defense Appropriations bill. “We must take care of our own troops before we take care of another nation’s troops – President Biden is currently threatening to veto the House Defense Appropriations bill because of the enlisted pay raise,” the release said.
• Biden and Austin must provide evidence that demonstrates that the Department of Defense and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency are not jeopardizing the schedule and cost of critical domestic weapon programs or the commitments made to Taiwanese or Israeli programs. “We cannot cannibalize our capacity to support ourselves or other strategic partnerships to meet commitments to Ukraine,” the release said.
• Biden must sign H.R. 2, Secure the Border Act into law. “We should not be fighting to secure another nation’s border with more fervor and resources than our own,” the release said.
“I will wholeheartedly support more aid to Ukraine if these common-sense conditions are met,” Garcia added. “In the meantime, I expect other NATO members to enhance their support of Ukraine and I urge President Zelensky to find and execute a winning strategy in short order.”