Washington—Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael McCaul, the Committee’s Ranking Member, today urged the Trump Administration to lift its hold on security assistance funds to support Ukraine. In a letter to the leadership of the Office of Management and Budget, the members underscored that these funds are critical to buttress Ukraine’s defenses against Russian aggression.
“This funding, a bipartisan response to Russia’s assaults on Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity since 2014, is critical to deter ongoing Russian aggression and territorial expansion. Congress continues to believe that unwavering support for the Ukrainian people to counter Russian malign influence is a vital component of U.S. national security,” the lawmakers wrote.
Full text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Director Mulvaney and Acting Director Vought:
We write to express our deep concern regarding reports that the Office of Management and Budget is holding up significant security assistance funding in support of Ukraine’s defense. These funds, which were appropriated by Congress as Foreign Military Financing and as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and signed into law by the President, are essential to advancing U.S. national security interests. We urge you to make them available for obligation without delay.
This funding, a bipartisan response to Russia’s assaults on Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity since 2014, is critical to the Ukrainian people to deter ongoing Russian aggression and territorial expansion. Congress continues to believe that unwavering support for Ukraine to counter Russian malign influence is a vital component of U.S. national security.
Congress fully agrees on the need to conduct robust oversight to ensure that all U.S. assistance is spent wisely, and that it is important for Ukraine to continue to make needed reforms and combat corruption. The Departments of State and Defense have already determined that Ukraine has met the significant conditionality requirements put in place to ensure that security assistance is accompanied by reforms by the Ukrainian government.
We strongly urge immediate action to ensure this central component of security assistance to Ukraine moves forward. Inasmuch as the authority to obligate the funds under the OMB “hold” expires on September 30, we are concerned that further delay would effectively cancel this appropriation in contravention of an Act of Congress.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter, and we look forward to your timely response.
cc: The Honorable Michael Pence, Vice President of the United States
The Honorable Mike Pompeo, Secretary, U.S. Department of State
The Honorable Mark Esper, Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense
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