Durbin, Colleagues Statement On DOD OIG Decision To Not Investigate Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative Funding Delay
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, along with Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced that it would not investigate DoD’s delay of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding appropriated by Congress. The Senators initially requested this review more than one month ago.
“We are disappointed that the Defense Department Office of the Inspector General has declined to investigate the Defense Department’s delay of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding appropriated by Congress. The withholding of this security assistance and the Department’s subsequent handling of information and materials related to the delay raises numerous questions and concerns. Inspectors General play a critical role in uncovering potential wrongdoing, ensuring accountability, and maintaining trust in our institutions of government. We continue to believe that an investigation by the Defense Department Office of the Inspector General is important to get to the truth and ensure appropriate accountability.”
Durbin, along with Senators Leahy, Reed, and Murray, met with Acting IG Glenn Fine in late-October to discuss this issue.
On September 12, Durbin offered an amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee to the Fiscal Year 2020 Department of Defense Appropriations Act requiring the Trump Administration to spend the $250 million in new aid to Ukraine that Congress approved in that funding bill. Because of Durbin’s amendment, the night before the committee markup, the White House released its hold on $250 million that Congress had appropriated in Fiscal Year 2019 to support Ukraine. Absent the release, the funds would have lapsed on September 30, 2019.
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