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Biden signs temporary spending bill without aid for Ukraine, Israel

by Nate Ostiller November 17, 2023 10:03 AM 2 min read
US President Joe Biden on Nov. 2. in the White House. (Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden signed a temporary spending bill into law on Nov. 16, averting the impending government shutdown but leaving the issue of continued aid for Ukraine unaddressed.

The bill, passed by bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate, will fund the government through the end of the year in two staggered segments until Feb. 2 at the latest.

It earmarks money for the highest priority government expenditures but does not include funding for Ukraine, Israel, humanitarian aid for Palestinians, or increased border security.

U.S. President Joe Biden previously asked the U.S. Congress to approve a new $106 billion aid package, including more than $61 billion in funding for aid to Ukraine.

As a result, the temporary funding bill will likely only forestall the larger spending fight in the U.S. Congress, which has yet to be resolved since the ouster of former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) said at a press conference on Nov. 14 that Congress would reconvene after Thanksgiving on Nov. 23 in order to try and pass a joint funding bill that contains aid for Ukraine and Israel, as well as for the Indo-Pacific region, and humanitarian support.

Such a proposal has bipartisan support, Schumer claimed.

"It will be a very high priority," Schumer said.

Nonetheless, it is unclear if the dynamics of the spending debate have truly changed since it proved to be impossible for McCarthy to navigate successfully.

Current House Speaker Mike Johnson (R) previously suggested a standalone funding package for Israel only, but it was rejected by Biden and Democrats out of hand.

Schumer said it was not a "serious" proposal.

Despite saying that he would support Ukraine, Johnson had an inconsistent history of public statements and votes on the issue before he became speaker.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Nov. 13 that "the window is closing" for the U.S. to provide aid for Ukraine before there are serious consequences for Ukraine's ability to defend itself.

‘We can’t allow Putin to prevail,’ says Speaker Johnson after being elected, but his track record says opposite
Representative Mike Johnson, elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 25, has been deemed bad news for Ukraine. Johnson regularly voted against aid for Ukraine and was backed by the Ukraine-skeptic hard-right in his bid for speakership after the weeks-long scramble to replace th…
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