A duo of House Republicans have expressed their support for President Joe Biden’s continued support of Ukraine as the country fights off Russia’s aggressive invasion. During a joint interview, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner and Texas Representative Mike McCaul, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN’s Pamela Brown during a segment of “State of the Union” that bipartisan support for Ukraine is still “very strong.” They also called on Biden to increase military support for Ukraine in order to aid in their efforts.
“The longer (Biden administration officials) drag this out, they play into Putin’s hands,” McCaul said.
“He wants this to be a long, protracted war because he knows that potentially, he will lose,” the Texas Republican said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, —a very controversial figure. “We could lose the will of the American people and therefore the Congress.”
Although a highly divisive topic, the U.S. and its allies have already offered up a total of almost $50 billion in equipment and aid to Ukraine’s military over the past year. In order to keep the flow going steadily and maintain its own stockpiles, the Pentagon has been rushing to re-arm, leading to the biggest increase of ammunition production America has seen in decades. Portions of the U.S. defense industry have also been offered up as assistance, despite America itself not technically being at war.
When Brown inquired about the possibility of the U.S. sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, McCaul expressed his approval of the idea.
“I hope so,” he said, adding: “I think the momentum is building for this to happen.”
“The fact is, the longer they wait, the longer this conflict will prevail,” he noted.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham shared in that sentiment, expressing an echoed belief during an interview with ABC. He said that lawmakers attending the Munich Security Conference in Germany were all “virtually” of the “unanimous belief” that the United States should begin training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.
“I believe a decision will be imminent when we get back to Washington, that the administration will start training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16,” he said. “They need the weapons system.”
When asked if the Biden administration had chosen to rule out the possibility of sending 5-16s to Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that officials were “working closely and directly with the Ukrainians on identifying what their needs are and when they need them.”
“We’re also working to ensure that they have the training and the capacity to use whatever weapon system we provide for them,” she noted. “So, this discussion is continuing.”