ENDLESS AID: Brandon to ask Congress for supplemental aid package “north of $10B” for Ukraine
President Brandon is expected to ask Congress soon for another Ukraine aid package – an amount that could exceed $10 billion – as supplemental funding for Ukraine, and domestic disaster relief as soon as the House returns from recess. According to sources familiar with the matter, this will be a major test of U.S. support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, especially since the legislative body is dominated by “Republican defense hawks.”
Punchbowl News reported that the incoming request is in fulfillment of America’s and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries’ pledge of assistance to Zelensky, despite Ukraine’s slow-moving counteroffensive against Russia.
Earlier in the week, the Army’s acquisition chief confirmed to reporters that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is working on a funding package for lawmakers to consider. The package would be used to replenish American weapon stockpiles which have been depleted after providing munitions to Ukraine’s protracted conflict with Russia.
Since the beginning of the Kyiv-Moscow conflict in February 2022, the United States has already provided more than $110 billion in aid despite a major backlash from American voters. (Related: Ukraine received $1.25 billion grant from US taxpayers to pay the wages of government employees.)
Back in July, 70 House Republicans voted to stop the funding for Ukraine. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has said that any additional Ukraine funding should have to go through regular order, or the appropriations process, and not a supplemental package. On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has slammed the current defense cap set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the debt ceiling deal struck by McCarthy and Brandon, and has pushed a robust aid package to Ukraine.
In addition to the GOP divisions, another problem is floor time. Both chambers will be focused on preventing a government shutdown at the end of September and passing a reconciled version of the annual defense authorization measure. Meanwhile, the funding request could also include a monetary request for Taiwan’s military, too.
CNN poll: Majority of Americans oppose further military aid to Ukraine
A majority of Americans have increasingly soured on sending more aid to Ukraine, the CNN/SSRS poll that was released Friday has found. According to the survey, 55 percent of U.S. voters believe that Congress should not send more aid to Ukraine, while 45 approve of more funding. Fifty-one percent believe that America has done enough to help Ukraine, while 48 percent say it should do more.
A majority of Americans have increasingly soured on sending more aid to Ukraine to help its protracted conflict with Russia, a poll released Friday has found. https://t.co/0SkurHZn6S
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 7, 2023
During the early days of the conflict, 62 percent believed Americans should do more to help the country. Fifty-six percent believe that the Ukraine-Russia conflict will threaten national security, although that is down from 72 percent since the February 2022 poll.
The news outlet also deemed that more Americans are worried about the conflict becoming seemingly endless: “Nearly eight in 10 are worried about that, including 82 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Republicans. Nearly two-thirds overall are concerned that the war in Ukraine will lead to increased threats to democracy elsewhere (65 percent) or lead to Russian attacks elsewhere (64 percent), and about six in 10 are worried it could lead to a broader war in Europe (59 percent).
Furthermore, Senior Adviser for the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft Kelley Vlahos contended that the poll does not bode well for Brandon. “The poll also doesn’t bode well for Brandon’s handling of major foreign policy issues,” Vlahos explained adding that some 53 percent disapprove of how he is handling the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, 56 percent disapprove of how he is handling Russia and 57 percent disapprove of how he is handling the relationship with China.
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Sources for this article include: