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- A new US bill to prevent a government shutdown omits further aid for Ukraine.
- Republicans are divided on Ukraine and whether to prolong additional funding.
- Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy told US politicans, “If we don’t get aid, we will lose the war.”
US Congress passed a bill to fund government services temporarily but suspended aid to Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
Congress members who back Ukraine said they won’t give up on aid to the war-torn nation, but the event highlights the growing isolationist stance within the Republican party, driven by its pro-Trump MAGA wing.
Congress approved the bill on Saturday night, forestalling a government shutdown until at least mid-November. The stopgap spending legislation does not include military relief or humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The omission means $6 billion is being withheld from Ukraine, approximately a third of the funding requested by the White House.
Republicans are divided on Ukraine and whether to prolong additional funding for the Eastern European nation battling against the Russian invasion that began in February 2022.
“Most Senate Republicans remain committed to helping our friends on the front lines, to investing more heavily in American strength that reinforces our allies and deterring our top strategic adversary, China,” said Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader.
But some lawmakers concede that maintaining support for Ukraine assistance in Congress is a growing challenge, per AP.
Zelenskyy: “If we don’t get aid, we will lose the war”
Ukrainian soliders are pictured near Kharkiv, Ukraine.
The move to drop Ukraine aid comes a week after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Joe Biden and US lawmakers to directly request new weapons systems, including longer-range ATACMS missiles and F-16 fighter jets, per Bloomberg.
“If we don’t get aid, we will lose the war,” Zelenskyy said to senators, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Almost half of Republicans in the House of Representatives voted earlier this week to omit $300 million from a defense spending bill to purchase weapons and train Ukrainian soldiers, AP reports. The funding was later approved, but Ukraine aid opponents are growing in numbers.
Republican Senator J.D. Vance posted a letter to X (formerly Twitter), opposing further funding to Ukraine. The letter was signed by 28 Republicans from the Senate and House of Representatives.
“At a classified briefing over Ukraine, it became clear that America is being asked to fund an indefinite conflict with unlimited resources. Enough is enough. To these and future requests, my colleagues and I say: NO,” wrote Vance, a Trump loyalist.
President Donald Trump (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk as they make their way to take the “family photo” during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017.
JORGE SILVA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has also long touted anti-Ukraine rhetoric. Last year the high-profile MAGA cheerleader faced backlash for saying, “You see, Ukraine just kept poking the bear, and poking the bear, which is Russia, and Russia invaded,” per The Financial Times. “There is no win for Ukraine here. Russia is being successful in their invasion,” she added.
In April, the Georgia Rep. said Zelenskyy “wants our sons and daughters to go die in Ukraine.” Last month, she baselessly claimed Ukraine was sex trafficking children and harvesting their organs.
Trump, the MAGA champion and the leading contender for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, is ambivalent about backing Ukraine, casting himself as a peacemaker who can resolve the conflict in 24 hours, but without providing any detail on how. He has a long record of expressing admiration for President Vladimir Putin’s “genius” leadership qualities.
Yesterday, Joe Biden urged Congress to continue aid provisions to Ukraine, Sky News reports.
“While the Speaker and the overwhelming majority of Congress have been steadfast in their support for Ukraine, there is no new funding in this agreement to continue that support,” Biden said, per Sky News.