The Washington Examiner reports that a group of Senators may look to force President Joe Biden to agree to Poland’s plan of sending fighter jets to Ukraine.
Poland surprised U.S. officials this week by announcing a plan to send over two-dozen MiG fighter jets to Ukraine at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request. The Biden administration, however, has rejected this plan for two main reasons.
One reason is that the Biden administration is concerned that sending the fighter jets to Ukraine might cause the situation to escalate leading to a much bigger war than the one that we are seeing between Ukraine and Russia. Poland sought to bypass this issue by sending the jets to a U.S. Air Force base in Germany from where they would be transferred to Ukraine. The Biden administration, though, still doesn’t approve.
On top of this, the Biden administration has claimed that the jets won’t help Ukraine as much as Zelenskyy and others believe they will. The Biden administration has argued that other measures would be more effective.
42 out of 50
This week, a group of 42 Republican Senators wrote Biden a letter urging him to allow the MiG fighter jets to be sent to Ukraine.
“We urge your Administration to work with Poland and our NATO allies to expedite the transfer of urgently-needed airpower, air defense systems, and other combat and support capabilities from the United States, NATO allies, and other European partners to Ukraine,” the letter reads.
The letter was spearheaded by Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joni Ernst (R-IA).
“While we commend the lethal aid that your Administration has sent to Ukraine thus far, we strongly disagree with your decision to delay and deny Poland the option to transfer fighter jets to Ukraine,” they wrote. “Your Administration champions the $1 billion in defense articles provided to Ukraine over the past 13 months and has definitively stated there are no restrictions in your current suite of authorities to adequately respond to Russia’s lawless and bloody invasion of Ukraine.”
Other congressional Republicans poked holes in Biden’s reasoning for not sending the jets to Ukraine.
“The two reasons, we’re now learning is, one, that your judgment is superseding that of the Ukrainian military, and, two, you think that it’s somehow more provocative, even though you are saying that you should be sending them and want to send them something that you think is more effective in the field that, by definition, would be something that the Russians would be more concerned about,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said on Thursday.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (R-NH) says that, in addition to the Republican support that we are seeing, there are several Democrats who also support sending the jets to Ukraine.
Time will tell whether this is enough to get Biden to change his mind.