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#Politico: Democrats remain vexed by the House as Ukraine funding hits crisis point
18:36, 23.11.2023 |
2873 | 0

Ukraine’s strongest supporters in Washington are looking at the three-week sprint after Thanksgiving as their best remaining hope of getting aid to the country.

But as Democrats continue to publicly express hope for the Biden administration’s nearly $106 billion funding request for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, they also remain vexed about how to move a bill through the Republican-run House.

The dynamics of the GOP House have alarmed the West Wing. Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated that he’ll at some point bring a vote on Ukraine, but those in the White House do not yet have a clear read on the new Republican leader or his negotiating style, according to two senior aides not authorized to speak publicly about private deliberations.
Few in Biden’s orbit have ever met Johnson, a religious conservative who was largely unknown until his stunning ascent to the speakership. And while the West Wing didn’t appreciate former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s grandstanding, they did feel like he eventually wanted to deal — and they are less sure about Johnson, according to the officials. Moreover, the same fringe group of Republicans who ousted McCarthy wield that same power over Johnson — and they are largely opposed to helping Ukraine, making a path to deal that much more difficult.

On two occasions already, Democrats tried but failed to get aid to Ukraine in a must-pass funding bill. With another deadline to spark action not coming until the latest stopgap funding bills expire in late January and early February, many of Congress’ strongest Ukraine backers fear the country can’t wait that long.

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