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US House Speaker responds to White House's concern over dwindling funds for supporting Ukraine

Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 00:18
US House Speaker responds to White House's concern over dwindling funds for supporting Ukraine
Mike Johnson, Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Stock photo: Getty Images

On Tuesday, 5 November, Mike Johnson, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, sent a letter in response to a request by Shalanda Young, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to Congress leaders to approve additional funding for Ukraine, given that the available funds will run out by the end of the year.

Source: The Hill, as reported by European Pravda

Details: In the letter, Johnson mentioned a meeting he had with Joe Biden's administration in October, outlining the conditions on which Republicans would be willing to back further aid to Ukraine.

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These conditions include the "enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws," as well as the outlining by the White House of a strategy for Ukraine’s victory and accountability for the assistance.

Quote from Johnson: "Congress and the American people must be provided with answers to our repeated questions concerning: the Administration’s strategy to prevail in Ukraine; clearly defined and obtainable objectives; transparency and accountability for US taxpayer dollars invested there; and what specific resources are required to achieve victory and a sustainable peace."

The protection of the US’s southern border has become a major point of contention between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, which is currently impeding the approval of a new budget request from the White House.

While Democrats are in favour of a thorough revision of the migration system as a whole, Republicans have called for stricter requirements for newly arrived migrants in order to halt migration, even at the cost of the United States' humanitarian obligations.

Representatives of both parties negotiated to reach a compromise, but Senator Chris Murphy, the Democrats' top negotiator, told reporters that the talks broke down because Republicans refused to back down from the demands.

In September, the White House asked Congress to approve a $106 billion additional funding package that included more than $61 billion in funding for Ukraine, as well as spending on aid to Israel, Taiwan and border protection.

Last week, Johnson said he felt "confident and optimistic" that Congress could pass additional funding for both Israel and Ukraine by the start of the Christmas holidays.

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