The White House is urging American lawmakers to approve an additional $24 billion for Ukraine by the end of October to ensure continued aid flow to the country. Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, stated that while funds have been appropriated for the current fiscal year, additional resources are necessary from Congress to avoid disruption in aid supply to Ukraine.
However, there is growing opposition from Republican lawmakers, particularly in the House of Representatives, where they hold a majority. Critics argue that the US has more pressing priorities and should have stronger safeguards against misappropriation of aid sent to Ukraine.
To address these concerns and make his case, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky personally met with members of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer summarized Zelensky’s message by stating, “If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war.”
In an effort to garner support, White House officials held a classified briefing for lawmakers, which took place on Wednesday evening. Following the briefing, Senator Josh Hawley expressed his belief that the Biden administration’s Ukraine policy was failing and that there seemed to be no clear path to victory. He also expressed concern that there would be no end to funding requests.
On the other hand, Senator Lindsey Graham, who has a differing perspective on the conflict, argued that abandoning Ukraine while they are achieving victories on the battlefield and letting Russian President Vladimir Putin get away with his actions would be far worse than the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
To secure funding for Ukraine, Senator John Fetterman, a Democrat, offered an unconventional concession to Republicans. He promised that if the Republicans in the House stopped trying to shut down the government and fully supported Ukraine, he would wear a suit on the Senate floor the following week. Fetterman is known for his aversion to formal dress, so this offer was seen as a significant gesture.
It is important for lawmakers to come to a decision and approve the additional funding by October to ensure a continuous flow of aid to Ukraine. The outcome of this decision will have significant implications for Ukraine’s ability to effectively combat the Russian aggression it is facing.