Members of the US Senate from both Democratic and Republican parties are preparing to quickly pass an annual aid package for Ukraine. According to The Wall Street Journal, it may far exceed the amount that President Joe Biden requested in August and would last through the US presidential election slated for November 2024.
The new aid package could be passed between Oct. 16 when the Senate returns from recess, and Nov. 17 when the current temporary spending law expires, senators from both parties told the WSJ. Estimates are that the total amount of this package would likely reach between $50-100 billion and could exceed the aid package of $24 billion, which Biden requested in August this year.
Majority leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer, and minority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, stressed that aid to Ukraine remains a priority. Democrat Richard Blumenthal said that, if it were up to him, the figure would be closer to $100 billion, but he is willing to compromise if Republicans would agree to $60 billion in aid.
House Foreign Affairs Committee member Michael McCaul reportedly said that he and others who support Ukraine, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, met with White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. They are understood to have told him that an annual package would make sense to “give Ukrainians a sense of confidence,” as well as it being important "from a political perspective" and therefore not being necessary to “hold a vote every three months.”
Senator Lindsay Graham suggested submitting $60-70 billion aid to Ukraine as a “strong” border security measure.
As previously reported by Kyiv Post, the White House is discussing the possibility of attaching a request to Congress to approve additional financial support for Ukraine to another request asking for urgent aid to Israel. This could increase the likelihood of Congress passing funding for Ukraine in the face of insufficient support from Republicans and the absence of a permanent House Speaker.
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