US Congress discusses annual aid package for Ukraine worth $60-100 billion
U.S. senators from both parties want to pass an annual aid package for Ukraine in the coming weeks, amounting to $60 to $100 billion
The Wall Street Journal reports.
Senators from both parties told the publication that they see more sense in one large package than in several smaller ones. This would, firstly, "give Ukraine a sense of confidence," and secondly, it would be better "from a political point of view."
Such a package could be passed between October 16, when the Senate returns from its vacation, and November 17, when the current law on temporary spending expires.
Senators expressed limited optimism that the package would be passed. Its size is still being discussed. Thus, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham proposed to allocate $60-70 billion, while Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said that in his opinion, the figure should be closer to $100 billion. However, the latter said that he was ready to compromise if the Republicans offered a package of $60 billion.
On October 7, another publication, The Telegraph, reported that Biden was going to ask Congress for a $100 billion aid package for Ukraine. Also, US Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said that in order to effectively help Israel and Ukraine at the same time, the Pentagon would need additional funding from the US Congress.
Disputes in the US Congress over aid to Ukraine: what is known
On October 1, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill to temporarily fund the government until November 17, which had been approved the day before by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He also called on congressional Republicans to support a bill to provide additional aid to Ukraine, saying he was "tired" of the constant bickering that nearly led to a government shutdown.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that despite the lack of a decision in the US Congress on assistance to Ukraine amid a possible shutdown, US support for Ukraine has not weakened.
The U.S. Congress did not include new funding for Ukraine in the temporary budget bill. In addition, the House of Representatives dismissed Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who supported military aid to Ukraine.
The Pentagon has already warned Congress of possible problems with the supply of weapons to Ukraine. According to Politico, Biden's team is looking for alternative ways to fund aid to Ukraine.