House lawmakers push back on Ukraine aid
Ukranian riot police officers stand guard during a pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Donetsk, Ukraine, Thursday, April 17, 2014
April 18th, 2014
05:32 PM ET
8 months ago

House lawmakers push back on Ukraine aid

Washington (CNN) - The White House is not going far enough in sending aid to Ukraine, say top Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee in a letter to President Obama that was obtained by CNN.

Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, ranking Democrat Adam Smith and 10 other key House Armed Services members wrote the President late Thursday night after the White House announced another round of non-lethal aid to Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine is now well underway,” the men wrote in their two-page letter, stressing that the U.S. needs to do something more to change the calculus of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The 300,000 MRE’s provided in March, and the other assistance announced by Secretary Hagel (Thursday), are helpful and promising, but are insufficient to cause this shift,” the congressmen wrote.

The letter specifically urges to White House to follow the recommendations of a recent nonpartisan report on Ukraine written by former NATO General Wesley Clark and defense strategy adviser Phillip Karber. That report advises the U.S. to send items that are non-lethal but have important tactical value: things like night-vision goggles, body armor, communications devices and aviation fuel.

In their letter, the lawmakers express concern that the White House is not moving with enough urgency and that bureaucratic red tape may be delaying critical aid and decisions.

Going beyond recommendations, the House Armed Services Committee is making an assertive oversight move as well. In Thursday’s letter, the members ask that the administration brief the committee on its efforts to assist Ukraine and on the overall situation in the region on Tuesday, April 29, the first full day that Congress will be back following its Passover and Easter recess.

Related: Sen. Corker calls for lethal aid to Ukrainian military


Filed under: Congress • Ukraine
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Adam Smith is from Washington's 9th district. It ranks No. 7 out of all districts in the country for highest defense prime contract spending. Getting the picture yet?

    April 18, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Blow the Ukraine pipelines flowing from Russia to Europe , " Just Kidding ".

    Economic sanctions will only work if all nations stand up against a nationalist fascist Russia.

    When solders enter a country wearing uniforms without any markings of country , the world can't stand still .

    Thugs , Gangs and Mafia's , Cartels , it's time for a world war against corruption .

    April 18, 2014 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Adam Smith is from Washington's 9th district. It ranks No. 7 out of all districts in the country for highest defense prime contract spending. Getting the picture yet?"

    To be fair, I was looking at 2012 data and I just read that the base moved into the 10th district in 2013 after some redistricting, but it's unclear how much that really affected the spending totals...and it probably didn't effect his district's population all that much in terms of their reliance on that military spending and their perception of whether it would be nice if it went up.

    April 18, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. S. B. Stein

    We don't have a good assessment of what they have and what they need to fully equip their military. It should be clear that there is no way they could defend themselves against a Russian invasion. Personally, I think we should move an aircraft carrier group into the region and get permission to fly our planes over Ukraine. Ukraine should also cut off all supplies like electricity to Crimea until the Russians pull all forces 200 km from the boarder.

    April 18, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    --when it comes to giving Healthcare subsidy to American poor, now you talk of Ukraine aid? Nonsense.

    April 18, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. anthny76

    Send aid to small businesses first.
    Send aid to the education system first.
    Send aid to build U.S. infrastructures.
    Send aid to the inner cities of the U.S first.

    April 18, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    Why do these people in congress continue to ignore that this is supposed to be a representative govt? Duh, that means you do what the people who elected you want you to do. Not what the War Machine pays you to do.

    April 18, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    ONCE again GOP=war mongers....
    Diplomacy what's that? Grow up GOP!?
    You ( GOP) want The EU and the most of western Europe againsts US policy ??...
    The national security threat is greater to our long standing EU allies than to US.
    You GOP want to rule the world ideologically, morally and militarily and that spending alone here will crash the national debt to unbelievable levels re-instate at least a second cold war!!
    Go away with your huff and puff and I'll blow your house down those days are long gone especially "by" the peoples opinion.
    Regards,
    Hodgson
    Go to war with Putin he will be in and out of Ukraine militarily and install a Russian puppet government before you guys can pass sanctions in this gridlocked US government

    April 19, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Even a little will go a long way. What is it about this country's war mind? We have had enough of Iraq (WMDs lies) and Afghanistan (still don't understand why we just don't get out). bin laden is dead. Wasn't that the whole purpose?
    Of course, we are also keeping an eye out on what Pakistan is doing so . . . . . . .

    April 19, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  10. Pete

    Sen.Corker wants lethal aid going to Ukraine..He,other republicans like McCain salivate at the chance of another war..And I ask a question to republicans out there the chicken hawks just what is "lethal aid"as Corker insists they get..Maybe a nuke or two,lethal enough or maybe some missiles then..Why aid to Ukraine but not to Syria ,please chime in because neither country effects us one way or another...What standard goes for one country should be for all,that's it Corker...

    April 19, 2014 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  11. SmartyPants

    Republicans would push back on a resolution calling the sky blue.

    April 19, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. The HAM

    Adam Smith... another greedy politician trying to make a buck...

    April 19, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. The HAM

    I'll admit it's nice to see Dems and Pubs at least doing something together for once... this childish behavior on both sides is getting old...

    April 19, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |