Will months-long blockade end?: US Congress will vote on aid to Ukraine this week

Will months of blockade end?
The US Congress will vote on aid to Ukraine this week

The US aid package for Ukraine has been stuck in Congress for months. Kyiv urgently needs support. The Republicans are now making a vote possible, possibly with the blessing of former President Trump.

The US House of Representatives will vote on separate bills to release funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Saturday, according to Chairman Mike Johnson. “We expect the final vote on these legislative proposals to take place Saturday evening,” the Republican wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

Johnson announced on Monday that the House of Representatives would “vote this week on separate bills supporting Ukraine and Israel.” Among the bills are those to provide financial support to “our ally Israel” and to support “Ukraine in its war against Russian aggression.” If approved, it would still be the Senate’s turn. It is likely that the Democratic-led chamber will support the plan.

Johnson now plans not to have a vote on the text of the law passed by the Senate. Instead, he would like to split the package into several parts and have separate votes on aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific. The US government was skeptical about the split. National Security Council communications director John Kirby said they would take a close look at Johnson’s proposal. It is important that the House of Representatives moves this week and releases funds for Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.

Approved by Trump?

For Johnson, the vote on Ukraine aid is sensitive. Far-right Republicans have threatened him with a vote of no confidence if he brings them to a vote. MP Marjorie Taylor Greene submitted a first application for this at the end of March, which was joined by her party colleague Thomas Massie on Tuesday. It is unclear whether there will be a vote on Johnson’s deselection. Johnson met with former President Donald Trump last week. It can be assumed that he had his plan approved by Trump.

US President Joe Biden meanwhile called on the US Congress to pass the aid package that has been blocked for months. The Republican-led US House of Representatives must “urgently” pass proposed legislation on new aid for Ukraine and Israel and on humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, Biden demanded in a guest article for the Wall Street Journal.

The US allies are currently at a “decisive” moment. “While both countries are capable of defending their sovereignty, they depend on American support, including weapons, to do so. And this is a pivotal moment,” Biden wrote.

The USA is considered Ukraine’s most important ally in the fight against the Russian invasion. Since the war began in February 2022, Biden’s government has provided more than $44 billion (around 40 billion euros) in military aid to Kiev. According to the US government, the funds approved by Congress have been used up.

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