McCarthy says he will keep Ukraine aid in Pentagon funding bill

McCarthy says he will keep Ukraine aid in Pentagon funding bill

Republican Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has said he will keep Ukraine aid in the Pentagon funding bill.

That's according to The Hill, Ukrinform reports.

McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol on Saturday, September 23, that he decided to keep the $300 million of Ukraine aid in the bill after recognizing that another spending measure set to come up next week — one that funds the State Department and Foreign Operations — also includes money for Kyiv.

The Speaker said stripping the Ukraine aid out of the State Department and Foreign Operations measure "becomes more difficult to do," which led him to decide to keep the money for Kyiv in both measures.

Read also: Zelensky meets with Speaker of US House of Representatives, leaders of both parties

The House next week is set to take a single procedural vote to advance four appropriations bills, including ones that fund the Pentagon and the State Department and Foreign Operations.

"That's not solving it because one of the others has some Ukraine things," McCarthy said of stripping the Ukraine aid out of the Pentagon appropriations bill. "So it became too difficult to do that so we're leaving it in."

The House, however, will vote on amendments to strike the Ukraine aid from both the Pentagon and State Department and Foreign Operations spending bills, Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) said. But those votes may not take place if lawmakers block the measures from being debated.

McCarthy's decision to leave Ukraine aid in the pair of appropriations bills will likely spark opposition from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who opposed a procedural vote to advance the Pentagon appropriations bill on Thursday because it included the funding for Kyiv. The congresswoman has come out against sending additional money to Ukraine.

McCarthy told reporters that he expects Greene to oppose the procedural vote to advance the four spending bills because of the inclusion of Ukraine aid.

The Pentagon funding bill includes $300 million "to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal assistance; logistics support, supplies and services; salaries and stipends; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine, and to other forces or groups recognized by and under the authority of the Government of Ukraine, including governmental entities within Ukraine, engaged in resisting Russian aggression against Ukraine, for replacement of any weapons or articles provided to the Government of Ukraine from the inventory of the United States."

In an effort to flip Greene’s vote, McCarthy announced on Friday that he would strip the Ukraine funding out of the spending bill and hold a separate vote on it.

On September 22, the Pentagon announced $325 million as an additional security assistance package for Ukraine.

Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images

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