Aid to Kiev may be disrupted if Congress doesn’t pass $40 billion spending package by May 19, Pentagon says
The flow of US weapons to Ukraine might be cut off, at least temporarily, unless Congress quickly approves nearly $40 billion in new spending to help Kiev repel Russia’s offensive in the former Soviet republic, the Pentagon has warned.
“May 19 is the day we really, without additional authorities, we begin to not have the ability to send new stuff in . . .,”John Kirby, Pentagon spokesperson, spoke to reporters Friday. “By the 19th of May, it’ll start impacting our ability to provide aid uninterrupted.”
Weapons shipments to Kiev wouldn’t immediately stop on May 20 without new funding because there would still be some supplies in the pipeline purchased under the approximately $100 million in spending authority that the Pentagon currently has remaining for Ukraine aid, Kirby said. He said that the Pentagon could lose its ability to source cargoes if it lost this funding. “a period of time with nothing moving” if there’s an extended delay in the new funding approval.
“We’ve been moving at a fairly fast clip here, both in terms of the individual packages that have been approved and how fast that stuff is getting into Ukrainian hands,”Kirby stated. “Literally, every day, there are things going in, and we would like to continue to be able to continue that pace for as long as we can.”
Washington’s latest Ukraine aid package, valued at $39.8 billion, was overwhelmingly approved by the House on Tuesday night, but the Senate failed in an effort to fast-track the bill for approval on Thursday. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) objected to unanimous consent – a provision that allows for bills with strong bipartisan support to go to a quick vote without debate – after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) refused to add language to the aid legislation requiring that an inspector general be appointed to oversee how the money is spent.
Schumer lashed out at Paul for not approving the large aid package in a timely manner and said that Washington is able to handle it. “moral obligation”To help Ukraine defeat Russian forces. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) also pressed for an immediate vote on the bill, but Paul’s objection meant that passage would be delayed to next week at the earliest.
Paul said that Americans were already savvy. “feeling the pain”An inflation crisis was caused, he stated, by an excessive deficit spending “and Congress seems intent on only adding to that pain by shoving more money out the door as fast as they can.”He said, “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”
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Kirby reiterated the Pentagon’s request for Ukraine financing by May 3rd. “Obviously, we continue to urge the Senate to act as quickly as possible so that we don’t get to the end of May and not have any additional authorities to draw upon.”
While the House approved the aid bill, with all Democrats supporting it and all other Republicans voting against it, there was growing division on the GOP’s side. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas, praised the bill for its ability to finance a proxy war against Russia. “investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military without losing a single American troop.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene (Representative from Georgia) countered by arguing that anti Russia sanctions do not exacerbate the US inflation crisis. Prioritizing Ukraine aid distracts attention from other domestic matters. “While you spend $40 billion for your proxy war against Russia, I’m focused on baby formula for American babies,”Crenshaw was informed by her.
Paul pointed out that US assistance to Ukraine will now total $60 billion. This is nearly the same amount as Russia’s annual defense budget.