The United States Congress has passed a temporary funding bill to keep the federal government running until mid-November, but it left out aid to Ukraine requested by President Joe Biden. The bill, supported by a majority of Democrats and some Republicans, averted a government shutdown that would have caused public service closures and unpaid government employees. The funding measure also includes an increase in federal disaster assistance by $16 billion. However, Biden expressed disappointment in House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans for reneging on spending levels agreed upon with the White House and for removing support for Ukraine. The temporary bill stripped out funding for Ukraine, raising concerns about the future of assistance to the country.
The temporary funding bill, passed by Congress, provided relief from a looming government shutdown and ensured the government’s funding until November 17. While the measure garnered bipartisan support, the exclusion of aid to Ukraine highlighted divisions within the Republican party. A group of hardline Republicans defied their own party leadership to oppose temporary funding proposals that did not include deep spending cuts. These hardline Republicans, numbering at least 21, even threatened to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position if a stopgap measure they opposed was passed with Democrat support. The exclusion of Ukraine aid has raised questions about the future of US assistance to the country, which has been a key policy initiative for President Biden.
President Biden expressed disappointment in House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans for their actions. McCarthy justified the exclusion of Ukraine aid, citing concerns about the long-term implications and the need to avoid wasting money. However, Biden emphasized the importance of supporting Ukraine in its war against the Russian invasion. The temporary funding bill is only a short-term solution, and Congress will need to fund the government again in the coming weeks. This raises the risk of a crisis, particularly among hardline Republicans who are pushing for significant spending cuts. McCarthy’s future as House Speaker may be uncertain as he may have to fight for his job in the face of opposition from within his party.