Biden Is Worried That Mccarthy’s Ousting Will Stop Ukraine Funding

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Biden Is Worried That Mccarthy's Ousting Will Stop Ukraine Funding

President Biden said he is worried that disarray in Congress could undermine his promise to give Ukraine what it needs for its fight against Russia — concerns that come as the Pentagon warns that military aid in Ukraine is rapidly running out.

NPR has learned the Pentagon has warned U.S. lawmakers that they urgently need to approve more aid to prevent a disruption in the flow of weapons to Ukraine.

Biden had asked Congress for $24 billion for fresh military, humanitarian and economic aid for Ukraine through the end of the calendar year. But the House of Representatives left that out of the recent stopgap measure that keeps government funded through Nov. 17.

Now, the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has created even greater uncertainty about the fate of that request.

“It does worry me,” Biden said. “But I know there are a majority of members of the House and Senate, in both parties, who have said that they support funding Ukraine.”

At least one of the candidates to replace McCarthy — Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, — has publicly said that he opposes additional funding for Ukraine.

Biden plans a major address to make the case for Ukraine

Polls show a growing number of Americans — particularly Republicans — feel the United States is giving too much money to Ukraine. That has fueled opposition to the aid among House Republicans.

Biden said he plans to soon deliver a major address to try to persuade the American public that continued support for Ukraine is in the national interest.

“I’m going to make the argument that it’s overwhelmingly in the interests of the United States of America that Ukraine succeed,” Biden said. “I don’t think we should let gamesmanship get in the way of blocking it.”

Ukraine’s supporters say ongoing funding is critical as Ukraine presses an offensive against Russian troops in the south and the east of the country. The operation has been moving more slowly, and at a higher cost in lives and equipment, than many predicted.

In addition, Ukraine is bracing for a repeat of the Russian onslaught last winter, when Ukraine’s civilian power grid came under sustained Russian bombardment. Ukrainians say they need to bolster air defenses to prevent, or at least limit, the rolling blackouts they faced last winter.

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