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White House hopes Ukraine aid bill to pass in January

by Martin Fornusek December 20, 2023 10:41 PM 2 min read
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on Oct. 11, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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The White House hopes that Congress will pass a funding request containing $61 billion for Ukraine in January to maintain support for Kyiv amid Russia's invasion, U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Dec. 20.

U.S. Senate leaders recently said that the bill would not be approved before the end of the year, raising concerns about crucial American military support for Ukraine.

Speaking at an informal press briefing aboard Air Force One, Kirby urged lawmakers to pass the additional funding so that the aid can continue.

"We've got one more package that we can do before the end of the month. And as you know, it takes some days, sometimes weeks, for some of that material to get to Ukraine," Kirby said.

"So it's really important that in January, we can move forward with some kind of supplemental funding for them (Ukraine) because the fighting is not gonna stop," the official noted, drawing attention to an increased Russian activity near Avdiivka.

Kirby added that Russian attacks around the front-line town may intensify once the ground freezes.

The funding request failed to pass a vote in the Senate as Republicans demanded the inclusion of stricter security measures on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Our negotiators are going to be working very, very diligently over the December and January break period, and our goal is to get something done as soon as we get back," Democratic Party Senate leader Chuck Schumer said earlier.

"There has been some progress made, I won't get ahead of it," Kirby commented on the ongoing negotiations.

It is unclear if any deal reached by the Senate will be supported by the Republican-controlled House, where a significant number of lawmakers oppose additional funding to Ukraine.

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