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White House Gears Up for Ukraine Aid Battle, Shutdown Prevented

White House Gears Up for Ukraine Aid Battle, Shutdown Prevented

In a somewhat expected turn of events, the government shutdown showdown has come to an end with funding approved by Congress. While aides had anticipated this outcome, there were no surprises or displeasure with the bill’s contents. In addition to funding the government, it also included $16 billion in disaster relief and avoided any major cuts to essential domestic programs. However, the bill did not include aid for Ukraine, which was disappointing for both President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Despite this setback, it is expected that Speaker McCarthy will bring a separate bill to the floor shortly to address Ukraine aid.

Both the White House and Biden emphasized their expectation that Ukraine aid would still be addressed in the near future. It is unclear whether McCarthy has made any concrete assurances to bring a measure up for a vote. While it was deemed unlikely to include Ukraine aid in the government funding bill due to potential opposition within his own party, it is still possible to push it as a separate matter. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer assured that funding for Ukraine aid would remain a priority, and there is some Republican support for it as well. The House GOP, however, remains uncertain, with McCarthy’s office not offering any response on the matter.

As the bill moves to the Senate floor with expectations for a Ukraine-related vote next week, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries urged House Republicans to stand up for freedom, democracy, and the Ukrainian people. It is anticipated that a vote on Ukraine aid will occur as soon as Monday. While there were no visible flaws in the clean stopgap bill’s components, there were some concerns about the speed at which it was being pushed through without sufficient time for lawmakers to read it. Ultimately, the Biden administration did not oppose the bill, and over 200 House Democrats supported it. Despite this setback, the focus remains on securing the necessary support for Ukraine in the coming days.

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