President Joe Biden on Tuesday offered fresh support for Ukraine in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, but his administration looks set to struggle to deliver further aid thanks to a divided Washington’s funding fights.
“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” Biden said at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. “I’d respectfully suggest the answer is no. We have to stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”
Biden has requested an additional?$24 billion in security and humanitarian aid?for Ukraine, in line with his promise to help the country resist its invasion by Russia for “as long as it takes.”
But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has said he wants further assistance for Ukraine to be debated on its own merits as a standalone bill, rather than attaching it to bills that would fund the federal government and prevent a partial government shutdown.
That’s as Washington appears likely to deliver a shutdown after Sept. 30, when the government’s?new fiscal year starts.
The House Freedom Caucus, a hardline GOP group that often causes headaches for its party’s leadership, has said it opposes “any blank check for Ukraine in any supplemental appropriations bill.”
On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has continued to express support for Ukraine.
“Republicans should welcome Democrats who are finally willing to spend money on our defense ITA industrial base,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor last week. He added that the outlays are “helping degrade Russian military strength and encouraging our allies to buy American and invest in their own defense.”
Ukrainian President?Volodymyr Zelensky?is expected to visit the White House and Capitol Hill on Thursday, as Washington debates additional aid for his country.
The Associated Press contributed.