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Updated Dec 4, 2023, 10:14am EST
politicsNorth America

White House pushes for funding for Ukraine by year end

Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images
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The News

The White House issued an urgent plea to Capitol Hill for action on Ukraine assistance, warning in a new letter that the U.S. will run out of military aid for Kyiv by the end of the year.

“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote to congressional leadership. “We are out of money — and nearly out of time.”

Young wrote that allowing U.S. aid to Ukraine to lapse “will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories.”

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The White House had asked Congress to approve over $60 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, as part of a larger national security package that also includes security aid for Israel and funding for border security.

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Know More

Ukraine funding is currently tied up with border security, as Republicans refuse to vote on assistance for Kyiv without also implementing policy changes to address the rush of migrants at the southern border.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., the leading GOP negotiator in the border talks, sounded optimistic on ABC. “We can get this done by the end of the year,” he said.

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But Punchbowl News reported on Monday that Democrats walked away from negotiations on Friday due to “intractable GOP demands on asylum and parole reform” — a major development that would jeopardize the fate of the national security package.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Mike Johnson said during a weekend appearance on Fox News that he wants to see H.R. 2 — the Republicans’ border bill — passed, which Democrats have rejected out of hand. At the same time, Johnson’s rhetorical support for Ukraine has been a pleasant surprise for advocates requesting more assistance. “Grounds for encouragement,” former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor told Semafor.

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The View From Europe

The plea for funding in Washington comes as Ukraine sees faltering support across the West. A budget dispute in the European Union is threatening to leave Ukraine without crucial funding, the Financial Times reported. EU officials believe that they still have time to reach a deal ahead of a summit this month, but fears are rising that a collapse in talks will strip Ukraine of a possible 50 million euros ($54 million) that would offer it a lifeline after its summer counteroffensive.

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