Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, addressed a crowd of constituents at a town hall meeting on Tuesday, stating that the war in Ukraine should be seen as a standoff. He discussed Ukraine’s spring offensive, which some believed would help retake territory from Russia, but noted that it had failed. “I’ll be blunt: It’s failed,” he said, expressing uncertainty about the overall winnability of the war.
Harris, who has Ukrainian heritage, has been a strong supporter of the war against Russia. He serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus and voted in favor of Congress’ Ukraine aid package last year. However, his recent statements align more with his colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus, who expressed concerns about providing further aid to Ukraine without increased oversight.
Harris emphasized the need for peace talks, acknowledging that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy may be reluctant but would likely lose the war without external support. He described the current situation as a stalemate.
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Harris has significant influence over aid to Ukraine. The Biden administration has recently requested emergency funding, including $24 billion for Ukraine, which will face scrutiny from Republicans. Harris made it clear that he would not support funding without proper oversight, stating that he would not back humanitarian or military funding without an inspector general.
This update was first reported by Politico.