The decade's most triggering comedy
The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a stopgap spending measure to prevent a government shutdown for 45 days that avoids sending additional aid to Ukraine.
The measure, which includes $16 billion for U.S. disaster relief aid, passed 335-91 with nearly every Democrat joining a majority of Republicans in voting to pass the bill after Democrat House Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told members of his caucus to vote in favor of it, NBC News reported. The bill now heads to the Senate where leaders are expected to ask members to approve an expedited vote in an attempt to pass the continuing resolution later in the day on Saturday before the deadline hits at 12:01 Sunday.
“The House just passed a short-term stop-gap measure that will keep the government open, pay our troops, and fully fund disaster relief,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said following the measure’s passage. “Now, the Senate must act.”
The House just passed a short-term stop-gap measure that will keep the government open, pay our troops, and fully fund disaster relief. Now, the Senate must act. https://t.co/7I8R6bwK5d
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) September 30, 2023
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly argued against proceeding with the House’s CR because it did not have funding for Ukraine, but he was ultimately overruled by Republicans. GOP senators in favor of continuing to aid Ukraine believe Congress will pass additional funding to the European country after agreeing to a long-term spending package in the near future.
While President Joe Biden’s request for disaster relief aid made it into the stopgap measure, the administration was unhappy with the lack of support for Ukraine in the measure. After the House passed the CR, the White House pressured McCarthy to pass a separate bill that provides funding to Ukraine.
“We fully expect Speaker McCarthy—who has stated his support for funding to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s illegal and unjustified war of aggression—will bring a separate bill to the floor shortly,” a White House official said in a statement.
A chorus of Republicans in the House and Senate strongly opposed any spending package that includes additional funding to Ukraine. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he would not allow an expedited funding bill that includes financial support for Ukraine to make it quickly through the Senate. Meanwhile, a group of other Republicans, led by Sen. JD Vance and Texas Rep. Chip Roy, sent a letter to Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, saying that they, too, would oppose further aid to Ukraine.
“The American people deserve to know what their money has gone to. How is the counteroffensive going? Are the Ukrainians any closer to victory than they were 6 months ago? What is our strategy, and what is the president’s exit plan? What does the administration define as victory in Ukraine?” the letter asked. “It would be an absurd abdication of congressional responsibility to grant this request without knowing the answers to these questions.”