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US Congress passes second government funding bill without Ukraine aid

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 9, 2024 5:42 AM 2 min read
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 13, 2023. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Congressional Integrity Project)
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Both chambers of the U.S. Congress approved a short-term stopgap spending bill to temporarily avert a partial government shutdown, sending it for signature to President Joe Biden.

Earlier this month, Congress passed the first partial spending bill without additional funding for Ukraine. The second stop-gap measure will fund parts of the federal government until March 22 and also excludes aid for Ukraine.

The U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill on Feb. 13 that included $60 billion for Ukraine, as well as funds for Israel and other allies. However, the proposal has yet to be approved by the House of Representatives. Assistance for Ukraine has been held up in Congress since autumn 2023.

After delaying the vote for weeks, House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Feb. 29 that his chamber would consider the foreign aid bill "as soon as the government is funded."

Holdups in U.S. assistance have put a significant strain on Ukraine's efforts to resist Russian aggression, causing ammunition shortages and contributing to the loss of a key front-line city of Avdiivka.

President Biden said during this week's State of the Union address that the U.S. will not abandon Ukraine despite continued obstructions from Congress. The President has met with House and Senate leadership several times to try to pass Ukraine aid.

"Ukraine can stop Putin if we stand with Ukraine and provide the weapons and the means to defend itself. That is all Ukraine is asking...But now, assistance is being blocked by those who want to walk away from our world leadership."

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