08:30 01 Oct 2023

We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted – Biden

The US Senate voted 88-9 to approve a stopgap spending bill to fund the federal government, averting a shutdown by a midnight deadline. President Biden signed the bill into law shortly afterward.

The legislation also includes $16 billion in emergency disaster assistance requested by the White House. It does not include any additional aid to Ukraine, despite widespread bipartisan support for that funding in the Senate. 

On September 30, the U.S. House passed a bill to extend the government funding for 45 days, resulting in 335 votes in favor. One Democrat and 91 Republicans voted against the bill.

In his statement, the White House President reminded that for several weeks, radical Republicans had been trying to move away from this agreement, demanding drastic cuts that would be devastating for millions of Americans. These attempts have failed, Biden noted.

"Сьогодні ввечері двопартійна більшість у Палаті представників і Сенаті проголосувала за те, щоб уряд залишався відкритим, запобігши непотрібній кризі, яка завдала б зайвого болю мільйонам працьовитих американців", – зазначив Байден.

The White House, congressional Democrats and many Senate Republicans have insisted on including financial support for Ukraine, as current funding is set to run out at the beginning of October.

However, a bloc of Republicans strongly oppose more funding for Ukraine, and lawmakers abandoned those plans in order to pass a deal on spending.

We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted.  I fully expect the Speaker will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment, Biden said in a statement.

Biden expressed hope that Speaker McCarthy "will stand by his commitment to the people of Ukraine and provide the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical time."

The day before, the bloc of Republicans turned down $300 million in aid to Ukraine from the bill: the Senate will consider these funds separately.

The Republicans took this step despite Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised last week not to remove funds for Ukraine from the draft defense budget.

The $300 million in question is not related to the $24 billion in additional funding for Ukraine and related costs that the White House requested in August, which also provoked opposition from far-right Republicans.

Against this backdrop, the US Senate has agreed on an alternative draft short-term budget resolution, which, among other things, provides more than $6.1 billion in additional assistance to Ukraine, including $4.5 billion for defense spending and more than $1.6 billion for economic support.

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