For all the big talk and showy photo ops Democratic officials are making in support of Ukraine, they continue to be many days late and billions of dollars short. They need to move much faster.

Speaking to George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas made that point from the start.

First, it must be said that McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, clearly was pleased that Speaker Nancy Pelosi had visited Ukraine and that she and President Joe Biden are supporting a $33 billion aid package for the beleaguered nation. Still, he lamented yet another pending delay in the assistance.

“I think time is of the essence,” McCaul said. “The next two to three weeks are going to be very pivotal and very decisive in this war. And I don't think we have a lot of time to waste in Congress.”

Then came the substance: “You know, if I were speaker for a day, I'd call Congress back into session, back into work, as we're not — we won't be in session next week. But every day we don't send them more weapons is a day where more people will be killed and a day where they could lose this war. I think they can win it, but we have to give them the tools to do it.”

McCaul is right. It defies reason that the same Pelosi who is willing to fly across the globe to show solidarity with Ukraine is also willing to let Congress remain out of session, with the aid thus on the back burner, for another crucial week.

Congress ought to return to session on Tuesday and pass the aid package on a fast track. Even after it is approved, it will surely take days or weeks even to begin delivering the new assistance. With Ukrainians being subjected to crimes against humanity, every day that military and humanitarian help fails to arrive is another day of death and suffering that might have been counteracted.

All along, the Biden administration has made not just careful but bizarre calibrations about what assistance to offer and when. Repeatedly drawing distinctions without practical differences, they decided that anti-tank rockets were okay to send, but not aircraft to bomb tank formations. They decided that “defensive” weapons were allowable, but not “offensive” weapons. At this rate, Biden will soon announce that it’s alright to give Ukrainians Bowie knives but not switchblades because he thinks Putin has a thing against blades that are hidden from sight.

When there’s war, the goal isn’t to keep allies one step ahead of the executioner while avoiding making the executioner mad. The goal — the only acceptable goal — is to win.

McCaul said Ukraine “can actually win this war. And I think that should be the goal. And I — I was pleased to hear Secretary Austin and Blinken echo that thought, that they can actually win. I think a win would be to go on the offensive in Donbas with this artillery we're giving them, the howitzers and these lethal drones, and push them out.”

As for the concern that Russian war criminal Vladimir Putin might use tactical nuclear weapons, McCaul rightly said that was a concern but then said something Biden has been afraid to make clear: “If that happens, we have to respond in kind.”

This should be obvious. The best way to deter Putin from using nuclear weapons is to leave no doubt that we would respond to crush him completely. If we leave doubt enough that he thinks he can use nukes with impunity, then the unthinkable damage will be done by the time we respond. Our response then, like our aid, might obliterate the Kremlin, but in terms of saving lives, it would be yet another day late — this time an unforgivable one.