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Incoming House Foreign Affairs chairman favors heavily arming Ukraine "100%"

McCaul says Biden administration "got played" by Russia
Rep. Mike McCaul says Biden administration "got played" by Russia in Brittney Griner prisoner swap 06:39

Incoming House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, enthusiastically supports continuing to aid Ukraine in its hard-fought war against Russia.

"I think going with the amount of investment we've had is very small relative to destroying the Russian military," he told CBS News in an interview Friday. "And that's what we've done without one American soldier being attacked, killed or in country. To me, that's a pretty good investment." 

Asked if he would favor more heavily arming the Ukrainians to bring the war to a faster conclusion, McCaul responded, "100% because the longer you drag this out, the more bloodshed."

But when the 118th Congress is in session in January, he plans to make some changes. He said he wants more information on how U.S. funds are being spent.

"We are going to have oversight," McCaul said, and "transparency and accountability." 

"It's the American taxpayer dollars at stake here," McCaul said. "And they deserve to know where their money is going." 

He also said the Republican-led Congress won't be a "rubber stamp" for spending on military equipment for Ukraine. 

"In the Republican majority, when we appropriates monies, we're going to put language in there that basically predicates what weapons systems we think needs to go in."

McCaul said that right now, Ukraine has trouble hitting "the longer-range Iranian drones in Crimea."

One of the most effective weapons systems the U.S. has provided is the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS. The system fires a 200-pound warhead up to 50 miles and hits within 10 feet of its intended target. Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, told CBS News' David Martin in September that it has virtually eliminated Russia's numerical advantage.

But McCaul said that the HIMARS the U.S. has provided "cannot reach" Russia's longer-range artillery.

"This administration fails to give them what they need to win," McCaul said.  

"If we're going to do this, let's do it right, and let's get it over as fast as we can, McCaul added.

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