CHANGES IN THE HOUSE: FUNDING FOR UKRAINE AND WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST - On September 30, Congress passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government open until mid-November, averting a government shutdown with a 45-day funding extension. In the process, American national security priorities were greatly complicated when funds to support Ukraine militarily and economically were removed from the resolution.
Things were additionally complicated when Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed as Speaker of the House. The move further jeopardizes efforts to secure Ukraine aid soon given that 1) no decisions on aid can be sought until the House chooses a new Speaker and 2) McCarthy was understood to be planning to seek further funding. Hamas’ savage assault on Israel added yet another factor, as it has increased pressure on Republicans to choose a new Speaker in order to expedite aid to Israel. In addition, Hamas’ violence has produced an additional security and humanitarian priority for Congress that also underlines the importance of supporting America’s partners against revisionist threats.
Putin welcomed the developments in Congress, saying that if Western support to Ukraine ends, he could win the war in a week. Many in Congress are seeking to restore funding for Ukraine and provide additional aid to Israel, seeing anything less as a failure of American leadership.
What is the impact of the aid blockage on the war in Ukraine and US national security? What is the current state of play on Capitol Hill while the House awaits a new Speaker and discussions on Ukraine aid continue?
The Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center assembles a panel to discuss the national security implications of Congressional support for Ukraine and how events may develop in the coming weeks.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 10/13/23