According to a report by AP News on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, the White House is sounding the alarm on the urgent need to secure additional funding for Ukraine as it faces increasing challenges in Congress.
Disagreements over American support for Ukraine have reached a critical point, with potential consequences not just for Kyiv but for the entire region.
Tensions have been mounting on Capitol Hill over the allocation of financial aid to Ukraine.
The disagreement was so severe that it threatened to bring the entire U.S. government to a halt at the end of last week.
Only a last-minute spending bill passed, but regrettably, funding earmarked for Kyiv was withdrawn in the process.
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby conveyed the urgency of the situation during a press briefing on Tuesday, stating, “Time is not our friend.”
“We have enough funding authorities to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs for a bit longer, but we need Congress to act to ensure that there is no disruption in our support.”
As Ukrainians engage in a fierce counteroffensive and face the harsh realities of the ongoing conflict, including the separation of families and the impending winter, the need for uninterrupted assistance is paramount.
A brief lapse in support, as Kirby emphasized, could have dire consequences on the battlefield.
This funding crisis coincides with a major political upheaval in Congress.
Republican Kevin McCarthy, the House Speaker, was removed from his position by a coalition of lawmakers, including members of his own party, marking the first such removal of a speaker in U.S. history.
McCarthy firmly denied allegations of a secret deal with President Joe Biden to facilitate a House vote on Ukraine aid.
However, uncertainty looms over his successor and the timing of the transition. Some potential candidates to replace him are known for their reluctance to allocate substantial amounts of U.S. public funds to assist Kyiv in its struggle against Russia’s invasion.
The White House acknowledges that continued American financial and logistical support for Ukraine sends a critical signal, not just to Kyiv but to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin has been closely monitoring the situation, hoping that Ukraine and its allies will weaken over time.
Kirby stressed, “Just as critically, such a lapse in support will make Putin believe that he can wait us out. And that he can continue the conflict until we, our allies, and our partners fold.”
“A strong signal of support now and into next year will make it clear to Putin that he’s wrong about that too, just like his assumptions have been wrong throughout this entire conflict.”
President Joe Biden recently convened a call with leaders from allied countries, the European Union, and NATO, reaffirming America’s unwavering support for Ukraine.
During the call, he emphasized the need for bipartisan and bicameral support for aid. Biden warned that any decrease in support could embolden Russia, potentially leading to a broader conflict in the region.
As the clock ticks on Ukraine’s critical funding needs and with the U.S. House of Representatives in a state of flux, the fate of U.S. support for Kyiv hangs in the balance.