Looming Budget Crisis Could Stall Funding for Ukraine
Author: Greg Valliere
September 18, 2023
UKRAINE HAD A GOOD WEEKEND ON THE BATTLEFIELD, but what Kyiv really needs is more aid — which is looking shaky as a budget crisis grips Washington, with little chance of a resolution any time soon.
A SMALL GROUP of moderate and conservative House members cobbled together a compromise this weekend that did not include aid to Ukraine, but even this proposal may not pass in the House — and it almost certainly would be defeated in the Senate, which opposes the strict House border provisions and aggressive new spending cuts.
KEVIN McCARTHY would take virtually any deal to get House approval of a continuing spending resolution by Oct. 1, when the fiscal year starts, but as of this morning, he doesn’t have the votes. The far right has the votes to block Covid funding, money for the Justice Department and other programs — and it also has the votes to end McCarthy’s speakership.
THE SEEDS OF A COMPROMISE were planted this weekend by this new alignment of moderate and conservative House members, who would allow a continuing resolution to extend the shutdown deadline to Oct. 31. But an extra month may not be enough time to get the Senate to agree to any House bill, and vice versa.
SO WE’RE ABOUT TO ENTER A BUDGET CRISIS that could last until the holidays or even longer, with a strong likelihood that aid to Ukraine will be delayed. The maddening budget gridlock will send a message to Washington’s allies and adversaries that the U.S. is becoming a less dependable ally.
THIS COMES AS UKRAINIAN TROOPS are slowly advancing. The country’s military said Sunday that it had retaken the village of Klishchiivka, the second settlement to come back under Kyiv’s control in three days and the most significant recent advance in its hard-fought counteroffensive to drive Russian forces from the country’s east, the New York Times reports.
UKRAINE’S ALLIES will hold meetings this week in New York and Germany aimed at increasing military aid as President Volodymyr Zelensky tries to reassure supporters that his military has made progress recently, slowly regaining territory. Zelensky will meet with President Biden at the White House on Thursday in an attempt to boost support for a $24 billion aid package.
WE THINK UKRAINE EVENTUALLY WILL GET MORE AID, but not as quickly as Kyiv would prefer. This will reinforce a view that McCarthy doesn’t have the votes for Ukraine. His more immediate problem is that he can’t even prevail over Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and handful of House radicals who may disrupt this city — and foreign capitals — in the coming months.
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