(CNSNews.com) – Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House intelligence committee, insisted on Sunday that U.S. support for Ukraine “is still very strong.”
They made a joint appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” joining the program live from the Munich Security Conference in Germany.
McCaul brushed off a Republican resolution saying that the U.S. “must end its military and financial aid to Ukraine” and urging “all combatants to reach a peace agreement.”
“Well, I know that bill had about 10 co-sponsors out of 435 members of Congress,” McCaul said:
“I would say that support is still very strong…I think where you’re seeing a split from the administration, though — and I have to say that…this is bipartisan as well — is that, for the past year, we have been very slow at getting these weapons in, in the name of it being too provocative, whether it be Stingers, Javelins, these short-range artillery.
“Now, longer-range artillery, ATACMS, they can take out the Iranian drones in Crimea, and also aviation like F-16. If we put the stuff in from the very beginning of this conflict, a year from now may have been very different, as we look at the anniversary on February 24.
“The longer they drag this out, they play into Putin’s hands. He wants us this to be a long, protracted war, because he knows that, potentially, he will lose — we could lose the will of the American people, and therefore the Congress.
“And we’re seeing the same dynamic in the European parliaments, strong support now, but they’re worried that, if this doesn’t end with a resolution sooner, rather than later, this will be an issue for us.”
Ukraine’s latest request to the United States is for F-16 fighter jets, and McCaul said he hopes the U.S. will provide them.
He added that the longer the U.S. waits to send the jets and other weapons systems to Ukraine, “the longer this conflict will prevail.”
‘Full support for Ukraine’
Rep. Turner, who also sits on the Armed Services Committee, said the conversations in Munich are focused on “bipartisan support” for Ukraine.
“In fact, I just did a panel with the (CIA) Director (William) Burns, indicating our full bipartisan support on the intelligence side, on the Armed Services side, for full support for Ukraine.
“You have a handful on both sides, both sides, Pamela, who have been cautious or who have said that they don’t support or they want support to come to an end.
“That’s not the over 400 — there are 435 members of Congress. There are probably 400 that are for continuing this direction and this path.”
Brown responded: “All right, well, that’s good to know. And that’s what we want to hear from you,” she said.
Turner also noted that 30 Democrats signed a letter to President Biden in October, urging him to link military and economic support for Ukraine with a “proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire.”
The letter was later retracted.
“The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) explained at the time of the retraction. She said the Democrats’ letter urging a negotiated end to the war had been “conflated with GOP opposition” to the war itself.
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