In a recent interview with NPR, President Biden expressed concern over the current disarray in Congress and its impact on his promise to provide much-needed aid to Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression. This comes after reports that the Pentagon has warned lawmakers of the urgent need for additional funding to prevent a disruption in the flow of weapons to Ukraine.
The Biden administration had requested $24 billion in military, humanitarian, and economic aid for Ukraine through the end of the year, but the House of Representatives excluded it from the recent stopgap measure to keep the government funded. With the recent ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the uncertainty surrounding his replacement, the fate of this aid remains unclear.
Biden acknowledged his worries about this development but remained hopeful, stating that a majority of members from both parties have expressed support for funding Ukraine. However, with some Republican lawmakers, such as Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, publicly opposing additional funding for Ukraine, the situation remains tense.
According to polls, a growing number of Americans, especially Republicans, believe that the US is providing too much aid to Ukraine, fueling opposition among House Republicans. In light of this, Biden plans to deliver a major address to the American public to emphasize the importance of continued support for Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is facing a dire situation as it continues to battle Russian forces in the south and east of the country. The offensive is progressing slower than expected, resulting in a higher cost of lives and equipment. In addition, Ukraine is bracing for another potential Russian strike this winter, which could cripple their civilian power grid.
The Pentagon is urgently pressing lawmakers to act quickly in order to prevent a lapse in military aid to Ukraine. They are particularly concerned about replenishing air defense systems and providing additional artillery and ammunition, as Ukraine is rapidly depleting its stockpile. While the Pentagon still has roughly $5 billion in authorized aid, it will not be enough to sustain Ukraine’s needs for much longer.
It should be noted that the US has provided the most military assistance to Ukraine, making a significant impact on their fight against Russia. Representatives, like former Army Ranger Jason Crow, emphasize that the cost is minimal compared to the damage inflicted on Russian troops by Ukrainian forces. However, there is also growing criticism that European nations should be doing more to support Ukraine.
Despite this criticism, it should be noted that European nations have collectively provided more aid to Ukraine than the US. Additionally, they have taken in millions of Ukrainian refugees, a burden that the US has not shouldered. As a result, Ukrainian leaders fear that the flow of Western aid may end, and they will have to become more self-sufficient. In an effort to do so, they recently hosted a conference for arms makers in the hopes of establishing production facilities in Ukraine.
As Biden’s promise to provide aid to Ukraine hangs in the balance, all signs point towards a protracted conflict. Ukrainians understand that they cannot rely on foreign aid indefinitely and are taking steps to become more self-sufficient. However, for the time being, they remain dependent on Western support as they continue to fight against Russian aggression.
Biden says McCarthy’s removal as Speaker worries him because we might not be able to deliver the aid that we promised to Ukraine, blames “extreme MAGA Republicans” pic.twitter.com/eWODyTN3zi
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 4, 2023