$60 Billion For Ukraine At Risk As GOP House Stalls On Foreign Aid Package

s Russia gains ground, the fate of a critical $60 billion aid package for Ukraine hangs in the balance in the U.S. Congress.

Tuesday, February 20th 2024, 9:17 pm

By: News 9, Alex Cameron


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One week since the Senate passed a bipartisan foreign aid package that includes $60 billion to help Ukraine and it’s still unclear if the measure will even get a vote in the Republican-controlled House.

Both the House and Senate are off this week, but of course that doesn’t mean there isn’t ongoing discussion about this aid package and what role the United States should play in the Russia-Ukraine war going forward.

With Russia making notable gains in recent days, officials in the Biden administration say the stakes are now more clear than ever. "Without more support from Congress," State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters, "Ukraine will not be able to replenish its air defenses and ammunition supplies to help protect itself from Russia's aggression."

Many Republicans, including the majority of the Oklahoma delegation, say they want to continue providing aid to Ukraine, but will only do so in conjunction with changes to current border policy. Senator Markwayne Mullin says, not only is it in America’s national security interest to help Ukraine defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin, he says, the U.S. is obligated to aid Ukraine under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum that saw Ukraine give up its nuclear arsenal. "And the United States is only as good as its word,” said Mullin in a recent interview. “There was no expiration on the '94 Budapest Memorandum."

There are, however, a growing number of more conservative Republicans who do not support continuing to send aid to Ukraine, some, like Oklahoma’s Josh Brecheen, who say it’s not affordable, given the fact that the nation is already $34 trillion in debt. "I can’t agree to send $60 billion more to Ukraine," Brecheen (R-OK2) said in an interview.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House GOP leadership, so far, remain unwilling to consider the aid package without a border component, frustrating President Biden. "The way they're walking away from the threat of Russia, the way they're walking away from NATO, the way they're walking away from meeting our obligations,” said Biden Monday, “it's just shocking."

There is a possible compromise bill emerging in the House that would reduce the amount of aid from $95 billion to about $67 billion while reinstating Trump-era border policies -- Remain in Mexico and Title 42. "Makes perfect sense to me," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday on Face the Nation. "I think you'll pick up six to eight Republicans who want to help Ukraine, but believed that the bipartisan border bill was not sufficient enough."

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