Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said Sunday the House, under a GOP majority, will continue to support funding for Ukraine for its fight against Russia but said they agree with party leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that Congress should not provide a "blank check" without a push for accountability and oversight over how that money is being spent.
"I think the majorities on both sides of the aisle support this effort," McCaul, the likely next chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a joint interview with Turner, the expected chair of the Intelligence Committee, on ABC News's "This Week." "I think everybody has a voice in Congress. And the fact is, we are going to provide more oversight, transparency, and accountability. We're not going to write a blank check."
Both congressmen agreed that Ukraine could defeat Russia if there is adequate support from the West, but said even calls for more oversight for the money that would be sent does not diminish Congress' will to help Ukraine fight back.
"We're going to do it in a responsible way," McCaul told show anchor Martha Raddatz, adding that if Russia defeats Ukraine, other authoritarian nations like Iran and China could be emboldened by Moscow's invasion.
Turner, meanwhile, told Raddatz that "we don't need to pass $40 billion large Democrat bills that have been passed to send $8 billion to Ukraine."
Both lawmakers voted for the $40 billion package in May, and Raddatz noted that the aid package also included long-term financial support for rebuilding in Ukraine.
The congressmen agreed that providing air defense systems to Ukraine is a top priority, but McCaul said that the federal government has slow-walked" its lethal support to the embattled country.
"The problem right now is the drones are going into Crimea," McCaul said. "The Ukrainians can't hit those drones unless they have the longer-range artillery."
But, "for some reason," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin "won't put those weapons into Ukraine," said McCaul.
When asked if providing some munitions could incite Russia by extending Ukraine's range into Crimea, McCaul pointed out that even though Russia annexed the region in 2014, "Crimea is not part of Russia under international law."
"If they can hit into Crimea, I think that's fair game," he added.
Meanwhile, Turner said that arming Ukraine with U.S. equipment may not be a solution, considering the time it would take to train the country's military in its use.
"Our air defense systems are so complex, we need to make certain that we work with partners and pull together an air defense system that they can put together to defend Kyiv, to defend their infrastructure," Turner said.
Meanwhile, the two congressmen said that their committees, starting in January, will launch several investigations, including into the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' handling of the U.S.-Mexico border, and the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop.
McCaul also said he agrees with calls for Mayorkas to resign, and that he has been "derelict in his responsibilities," considering the "wide open border" and citing the deaths of almost 100,000 people from fentanyl overdoses.
"This equals what we lost in Vietnam over 20 years," said McCaul. " I think they're complicit with the biggest human trafficking in our lifetime, and I think the American people need accountability."
McCaul also said Sunday he is sure that McCarthy will have the 218 votes he needs on the House floor on Jan. 3 to become the next speaker, despite criticism from lawmakers like Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who is campaigning against him for the top spot.
"Kevin has worked harder than any other candidate for speaker I've seen," said McCaul. "I think he's got the majority of our conference, and the fact is, what's the alternative here?"
"He's the leader, he's been the leader of our team, and he's going to stay the leader of our team," said Turner. "I certainly look forward to when we get past Jan. 3 to get to work, and get these committees back to doing the jobs."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.