Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Zelenskyy’s $61B U.S. Allowance Likely Snoozed Until Jan. 2024

'We need clear articulation of the strategy to allow Ukraine to win...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on his U.S. visit, is set to return to Ukraine empty-handed as congressional leaders placed funding for the Eastern European country on the backburner until at least Jan. 2024, several lawmakers claimed on Tuesday.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., declared that the White House, seeking a $61 billion spending package for Ukraine, rejected negotiations to link further funding to border security.

“I’ve also made very clear from day one that our first condition on any national security supplemental spending package is about our own national security first,” Johnson said during a press conference on Tuesday. 

“The border is in absolute catastrophe, and this is because of the policies of this White House and this administration,” he added. 

Moreover, the House speaker criticized President Joe Biden for not outlining a winning strategy for Ukraine. 

“I have asked the White House since the day that I was handed the gavel as speaker for clarity,” Johnson said. “We need clear articulation of the strategy to allow Ukraine to win. Thus far, their responses have been insufficient.” 

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, mentioned that additional funding for Ukraine would have to wait until Jan. 2024, citing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.’s failure to negotiate with House Republicans. 

“I think Sen. Schumer got this started so late that we might just run out of time, so I think it’s going to be a January exercise,” Cornyn remarked, according to the Hill. 

On the other hand, Biden delivered a scorching rebuke on Congress for the deadline on Ukrainian funding, urging lawmakers to finalize a deal before the Christmas break. 

“Congress needs to pass supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess — before they give Putin the greatest Christmas gift they could possibly give him,” Biden said on Tuesday, as reported by the New York Post. 

At a later briefing, Biden argued that failure to fund Ukraine would be a victory for Russia. “Russian loyalists in Moscow celebrated when Republicans voted to block Ukraine aid last week,” he added at a briefing, per the NY Post. 

“The host of a Kremlin run show literally said, ‘Well done, Republicans. That’s good for us,’” Biden continued.  “If you’re being celebrated by Russian propagandists, it might be time to rethink what you’re doing. History will judge harshly those who turned their back on freedom’s cause.”

Zelenskyy, currently in the U.S., has been engaged in diplomatic meetings and congressional briefings in a bid to persuade skeptical lawmakers about funding Ukraine. His efforts come at a crucial time as Ukraine finds itself embroiled in corruption scandals.

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