The US Senate, after five months of delay, appears to be on the verge of deciding on future aid for Ukraine. Though a step in the right direction, experts caution that the outcome is still far from clear.

On Sunday night, Feb. 11, Senate legislators cleared the final procedural hurdles that will now allow a full Senate vote on aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, something that President Joe Biden proposed in October. The Senate bill is expected to receive bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Senate leaders hope that the bipartisan approach may inspire some Republican House members to vote in favor of the aid, despite presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s insistence that foreign aid not be passed before the US elections in November.

Steve Moore, a Republican strategist who worked in the US Congress for many years is optimistic. “Most likely, the aid package will pass the Senate,” he said. However, Moore cautions that in the House, “Ukraine aid is hanging by a very thin thread.”

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Moore added that “The Speaker of the House decides what legislation will be put on the floor for a vote. Kevin McCarthy lost his job, in part, because the last aid package in October passed the House with a majority of Republicans voting against it. Speaker Johnson is unlikely to revisit his sin.”

However, unlike most legislation, Moore explained, Republicans are most likely going to use a “discharge position,” a technical move that would allow them to go around the Speaker.

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The tactic is quite rare and “has worked only a handful of times in the last three decades,” according to Moore. He said that even if it does go to a House vote “the soonest the vote would come is March 1.”

In Ukraine, the ongoing uncertainty about what will transpire next on the front keeps people on their toes, but the added lack of clarity about what will come next in Washington only compounds the angst.

Ihor Solovey, who heads the Office for Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) in Ukraine, said: “Signals of support from partners and the situation on the battlefield keep people optimistic about how the war will develop and under what scenarios.” However, recent disappointments have changed the perspective of many Ukrainians.

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Solovey said that locals “have become more cautious about estimating when things will happen in the war,” citing the recent example of the overestimation of “expectations from the counteroffensive, which did not take place due to the limited resources of the [Armed Forces of Ukrainian].”

President Zelensky had earlier commented: “It is necessary to maintain American support. And I am grateful to our American partners who recognize this. We cannot let Russian war and evil spread.” He added: “Putin sobers up only when he sees strength in front of him. Strength is required. I am grateful to everyone who helps us increase it.”

As of now, a majority of senators have voted to end the debate about the bill, so it can be voted on. But it will then face a tough passage in the House of Representatives, whose Speaker, Mike Johnson, a Republican, declared on Monday that he will oppose the bill as written.

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Comments (3)

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Joseph Swanson
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rand paul is pro russian.  He is affiliated / backed by the koch brothers who also created a "think tank" called "Defense Priorities" which echoes communist russia's demands of less US military bases and a reluctance to impose sanctions on north korea.One of paul's key backers...charles koch... the same koch brothers that have donated millions of dollars to "Donors Trust and Donors Capital" which also funds the "Heritage Foundation" recently spread russian propaganda about Ukraine,  the koch family made a fortune developing oil and gas in russia as far back as soviet times.
 jessie benton sound familiar?  A GOP operative working for rand paul & mitch mcconnell funnelling russian money, caught and convicted.  NRA also taking russian money.  
nikki haley also accepts money from the koch brothers.
Then there is mike johnson who attends white supremacist meetings of the cnp 4th pf October 2019 and used US tax payer money to travel to this hate fest.
#GOPMAGAEqualsNationalBolsheviks

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Joseph Swanson
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this is the way of the white anglo saxon protestant. They profess from the highest mountain tops in the world about their noble wasp concepts of "truth, justice, integrity, ethics, and morality" YET fail every chance they get to practice these concepts.
The wasp has a friend in communist russians...both a culture of criminality. Their histories are littered with examples of breaking laws / international laws, treaties, agreements, and taking the land / resources of others by force and normalizing it.
Let this be a lesson to all...NEVER do business with the wasp OR communist russia.

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rhoneyman
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I believe it's discharge petition, not position.

The issue Johnson has is there's no border security provision in the Senate bill. But TFG has made it clear that any vote on border security is a kiss of death resulting in any such Republican representative who votes for it being primaried out by an even more extreme MAGA fascist.

As for timing, once the Senate bill has reached the House, the bill would normally be sent to committee. A discharge petition can only be effected on bills that have sat in committee for at least 30 days without referral to the whole House. Once the discharge petition is successfully submitted, a motion to discharge may only be voted on the second or fourth Monday of the month. Thus, if the Senate bill is passed this week, the earliest a House vote could take place would be March 25.

Republicans are the scourge of the earth.

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