The United States is facing a potential funding crisis in its support for Ukraine unless Congress approves additional funding, according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Kirby stated that while the US currently has appropriations and authorities for both Ukraine and Israel in the near term, they cannot rely on long-term support when they are running out of money.
Kirby emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that the US is approaching the end of the rope in terms of Ukraine funding. He announced that $200 million had been allocated, but made it clear that this aid would not be indefinite. The specific timeline for running out of funding is uncertain and depends on factors such as the rate at which Ukraine and Israel utilize their equipment and ammunition, as well as the needs and capabilities of the US.
This announcement comes after a Pentagon spokesperson assured reporters on Tuesday that the US had the ability to continue supporting both Ukraine and Israel, while maintaining its own global readiness. However, Kirby acknowledged that the money previously allocated by Congress for Ukraine is not going to last forever. He stressed the need for lawmakers to approve additional funding as soon as possible to ensure continued support for Ukraine.
The lack of a speaker of the House of Representatives further complicates the situation. Since last Tuesday, when Kevin McCarthy was ousted as speaker in a House vote, there has been no speaker. McCarthy’s removal was due to allegations of a secret deal with the White House to approve more Ukraine funding. Several Republicans, supported by all minority Democrats, led the charge against McCarthy. Steve Scalise, the Republican nominee to succeed McCarthy, has previously expressed support for funding Ukraine.
Since the escalation of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, the US has provided nearly $44 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine, along with additional cash, humanitarian, and economic assistance. However, the funding situation is becoming increasingly precarious, and without additional support, the US may be forced to curtail its assistance to Ukraine.
The urgency of the situation underscores the need for Congress to act swiftly in approving additional funding. The support of Ukraine is a key priority for the US, and any delay or reduction in aid could have significant consequences for Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression. It remains to be seen how Congress will respond to this funding crisis and ensure that Ukraine receives the support it needs in this critical time.