Democratic and GOP sources in the US said there are many issues to resolve over the country’s Ukraine package — including drafting the legislative language — and the whole process will take weeks before final votes are taken in both chambers. .
The likely goal at this point is to pass this package before the Memorial Day recess. But there are additional complications to sort out, namely what to do with the stalled Covid-19 aid.
A senior aide to the Democratic House said US President Joe Biden’s additional request still has a long way to go in both chambers: “There will be bipartisan, bipartisan discussions on the supplementary request. Language also needs to be drafted. is also not resolved which chamber will work go ahead the supplement first this will not be an instant process.’
As a sign of the potential roadblocks ahead, many Republicans are already indicating that they need more information about Biden’s supplement before they can commit to voting on it in the Senate.
Republicans are still working on the president’s supplemental document for Ukraine, but Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the foreign relations committee, said he was concerned about a provision in the package that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would to spend approximately $20 billion. It’s not new money. This money has been appropriated before, but it was not authorized. It’s an issue Republicans and Democrats have been fighting over for months, and Republicans say Biden slipped into this package.
It’s early days, and Risch said many Republicans are still inclined to support the package, but he warned Republicans want to take a few days to more carefully consider what’s in it.
“I need to go through the details,” said Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida. “I don’t fixate on the amount that much. It’s more about what is it that you intend to offer them? Is it what they need now for the foreseeable future?”
Another gap that is emerging is that Republicans view the high price tag on humanitarian aid as potentially misdirected. sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana who traveled to Ukraine during the recess, told reporters he believes the better place to spend the money is on military aid.
“The war crimes committed right now will not end until Ukraine wins this war. So while humanitarian aid is very important, the main thing the Ukrainians want is lethal aid to defeat the Russians. I’m not convinced the White House understands that,” Daines said.
“I want to know what we are investing in. I want to make sure that between deadly aid and humanitarian aid, it actually gets where it needs to go. The devil is in the details,” Ernst said.
sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, said he is pleased with the package’s price tag.
“We need to send a strong signal that we intend for Ukraine to win this war against Vladimir Putin’s illegal war crimes,” Wicker said.
While members on both sides recognize the urgency of passing this legislation quickly, the way it moves through the House and Senate is still very much in flux, with some Democrats still urging money in one package. be packed with Covid-19 money held up over Biden’s immigration policy on Title 42.
“It has to happen,” said Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington.
Republicans, including whip John Thune, have already said adding Covid-19 funding to this bill is a no-brainer.