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Zelensky cancels address to US senators as Republicans rally against aid package

by Dmytro Basmat December 6, 2023 1:16 AM 2 min read
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after a closed-door lunch meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol Oct. 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that President Volodymyr Zelensky canceled his video address to U.S. senators scheduled for Dec. 5, The New York Times reported.

“Something happened at the last minute,” Senator Schumer said without further explanation.

The Ukrainian president planned to address U.S. lawmakers as Ukraine increases efforts to secure $61.4 billion in aid as part of the $105 billion combined Israel-Ukraine aid package proposed by the Biden administration.

U.S. funding for Ukraine continues to run dry and many Republican lawmakers refuse to support additional funding for Ukraine. The White House announced yesterday that the U.S. will run out of funds to support Ukraine in the coming weeks if Congress does not take action.

Of the $111 billion so far approved by Congress to support Ukraine, the Defense Department has used 97% of its $62.3 billion budget for Ukraine, according to the White House.

Earlier today, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged fellow Senate Republicans to vote against the aid package for Ukraine and Israel.

"I hope all of our members vote no,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, tying his opposition to the bill with Republican demands to strengthen migration border policy at the U.S. border with Mexico.

While Republicans continue to demand changes to domestic policy, Senate Democrats continue to push for the aid package.

“The last time (President Zelensky) spoke to us, his message was direct and unsparing: Without more aid from Congress, Ukraine does not have the means to defeat Vladimir Putin,” Majority Leader Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Those who think Vladimir Putin will stop merely at Ukraine willfully ignore the clear and unmistakable warnings of history. It is therefore urgent for the Senate to pass a security supplemental.”

The Senate is set to vote on the legislation on Wednesday despite Republicans pledging to block the bill.

Ukraine war latest: Putin to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE; Qatar announces return of 6 Ukrainian children from Russia
Key developments on Dec. 5: * Putin to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE * Qatar announces return of 6 Ukrainian children from Russia * Official: Ukrainian volunteer killed in Russian attack on International Volunteer Day * UK Defense Ministry: Russian forces control most of destroyed Marinka Russian Pr…
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