Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is scheduled to address U.S. senators in a secret briefing on Tuesday.
The press conference, which will also include the secretaries of defense and state and other national security officials, is expected to include the Biden administration’s push to pass a $106 billion aid package for wars in Ukraine and Israel and other security needs. It’s done in the midst of what you’re looking for.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday stressed the need for more aid to Ukraine, saying Kiev’s war effort to defend itself from Russian aggression could come to a halt without it.
Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, also warned lawmakers that the United States would run out of money to send arms and aid to Ukraine by the end of the year.
But Biden’s request for $106 billion in aid has been met with deep skepticism from Republican lawmakers wary of continuing to support Ukraine’s war effort at the expense of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Many Republican lawmakers who support the funding insist on changing border policies to stem the flow of migrants as a condition of aid.
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Negotiations over border security measures collapsed over the weekend as Republicans insisted on provisions that Democrats rejected as harsh, including calling for the “indefinite detention” of asylum seekers and giving the executive branch the power to “shut down” the asylum system. . Talks are expected to resume this week.
Congress has already allocated $111 billion to help Ukraine, including $67 billion in military procurement funds, $27 billion in economic and civilian assistance, and $10 billion in humanitarian assistance. Young wrote that all but about 3% of military funding had been exhausted by mid-November.
Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a standalone aid package for Israel fighting Hamas in Gaza, but the White House insisted all priorities must be met.
The new package proposes $61 billion in additional spending for Ukraine and $14.3 billion for Israel, including $10.6 billion for weapons and nearly $14 billion for border security, as well as for the Asia-Pacific region. It also includes assistance and other U.S. national security provisions.
House Speaker Mike Johnson reiterated Monday that House Republicans will advocate changes to border policy as part of the Ukraine aid bill. He said Biden “failed to substantively address my conference’s legitimate concerns about the lack of a clear strategy in Ukraine, a path to conflict resolution, and a plan to adequately ensure accountability for U.S. taxpayer aid.” “I haven’t done it,” he claimed.
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Mr. Schumer is expected to push Mr. Biden’s additional funding package this week, but Republicans have insisted on border security provisions and threatened to block their passage with a filibuster.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.