News"The obstacle is twofold": Bad news for Ukraine from the USA

"The obstacle is twofold": Bad news for Ukraine from the USA

"The obstacle is double". Bad news is coming from the USA for Ukraine
"The obstacle is double". Bad news is coming from the USA for Ukraine
Images source: © East News | Kay Nietfeld
ed. SBO

5:34 AM EST, December 9, 2023

Negotiations to break the deadlock over the aid package for Ukraine have hit a roadblock in the U.S. Senate. Even if the talks prove successful, it's highly unlikely that Congress will be able to pass the bill before the end of this year. This information was communicated to the Polish Press Agency by congressional sources.

Tension arose when Senate Republicans blocked the bill, which proposed a $61 billion aid allocation for Ukraine. To resolve this, representatives from both parties initiated discussions on tightening immigration laws, a demand by the Republicans.

Senator James Lankford, the chief negotiator for the Republicans, proposed a new approach to this issue. During an interview with Politico, he expressed confidence that his proposal would be a balanced solution that could win the approval of more than the required 60 senators.

As reported by the "Wall Street Journal", White House representatives have indicated a willingness to make concessions, including agreeing to solutions deeply unpopular with the Democrats. The negotiations are anticipated to continue over the weekend.

The House of Representatives poses a hurdle

However, even if the Senate discussions are successful, the rapid adoption of the package is hindered by the House of Representatives. The difficulty is twofold.

Firstly, House Republicans are less amenable to compromise. Secondly, they are hesitant to interrupt their holiday break, which begins next Friday. Though several senators have declared their readiness to remain in Washington as long as necessary, the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, is less flexible.

A Democratic source from the House informed the Polish Press Agency that people are dubious whether there will be sufficient time for the package to get approved by the House. Johnson has stated that, regardless of the circumstances, next week will be the final session of the year. As a result, it seems the issue will likely be revisited in 2024.

Another respondent, a Republican representative, shares this viewpoint. "I don't see such a possibility, unless Johnson changes his mind, which I highly doubt," he stated.

White House warns that funds for Ukraine will only last until the end of this year

According to the "Wall Street Journal," the discussions center upon the criteria of who can apply for asylum. The Republicans want to tighten these requirements, and propose holding asylum seekers at border detention centers until their case is settled, which may take years. The White House is open to simplifying deportations and extending the list of safe third countries where migrants can be relocated.

Lankford, leading these discussions, admitted during a talk with Politico that there are no assurances from Speaker Johnson that the agreement reached in the Senate will be received favorably by the House.

The White House has consistently stressed that the aid matter is time-sensitive, warning that the funds to support Ukraine will be depleted after the New Year.

The Pentagon's Deputy Spokeswoman, Sabrina Singh, provided more details on Thursday. She explained that while the Pentagon retains the authority to transfer equipment worth $4.6 billion, it only has $1 billion remaining to restore the weapons provided to Ukraine. This latter figure is significant to ensure the readiness of the U.S. military is not compromised.

U.S. Army Representative Doug Bush, quoted by "Defense News", estimates that the funds to restock the arsenal will run out within a few weeks.

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