Republicans resist Zelensky’s request for additional $61.4 billion in aid
12/19/2023 // Belle Carter // Views

On Dec. 12, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington to meet with President Joe Biden and secure additional military support from the U.S. against Russia worth tens of billions of dollars amid American aid imminently drying up.

As the White House reached out to GOP-dominated Congress, Republicans showed a blatant display of skepticism. Representatives prepared for a Wednesday vote on a resolution to grant Ukraine $61.4 billion in aid, as per Biden's funding request. This also includes assistance for Israel and funds for border security. The hope among Biden's administration is that the Ukrainian president can convince lawmakers of the necessity for more aid to replenish his war chest.

In his direct appeal on Monday during a speech at the National Defense University, he claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeing his "dreams come true" as delays continue in Congress. "Every one of you here understands what it means for a soldier to wait for munition – waiting for weeks, months, without knowing if support will come at all. Every one of you with command experience knows what it means when instead of moving forward, you're just watching, waiting for armor or equipment while your enemy is satisfied and preparing for assaults. Any of you with a son or daughter in a combat zone just wouldn't get it if they were told that protecting lives could wait because there's a little more debating," Zelensky said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson expressed concerns after he met with Zelensky, criticizing the current U.S. regime for the said additional budget without providing sufficient oversight or a clear strategy for victory. He emphasized the need for detailed information on how the funds would be utilized. Moreover, Zelensky was met with concerns upon meeting U.S. senators about further aid to Ukraine. Lawmakers were questioning the war's objectives and the use of U.S. funds, linking any further aid to changes in immigration policy.

Earlier, the White House informed Congress that the U.S. government will run out of funds to provide more weapons to Ukraine after year-end. Over $110 billion has already been approved for Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022, but no new funds have been allocated since Republicans gained control of the House in January. Support for Ukraine has been steadily waning, it has been observed.

Lead GOP negotiator on immigration policy Sen. James Lankford told CNN that nothing Zelenksy could say to senators would change Republican demands that Congress strike a deal to tighten U.S. border laws before approving more aid to Ukraine. "No, no," Lankford said when asked whether he'd be willing to punt on immigration until next year when Zelenksy urges Congress to approve Ukraine aid immediately.

Meanwhile, Putin's camp expressed doubt that additional U.S. funding could change the course of the war in Ukraine. (Related: Zelensky concedes to counter-offensive FAILURE: "We did not achieve the desired results.")

Zelensky's visit only came together late last week, with the details being finalized just Friday, a White House official said. "I think it comes at a critical time" and "exactly the right time," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Monday, adding that it was not only because of the "increased activity by the Russian Armed Forces … but also what's going on Capitol Hill and the argument that the president's going to be making."

Survey: Half of Republicans think Biden is providing too much aid to Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine nears the two-year mark, about three in ten Americans (31 percent) view that the United States is providing too much assistance to Ukraine in its ongoing battle with Russia, while about 29 percent say that the U.S. is providing the right amount of support or not providing enough at 18 percent.

A recently released Pew Research Center survey, which was conducted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, 2023, among 5,203 members of the Center's nationally representative American Trends Panel found that 48 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the Biden's administration is giving too much aid to Ukraine. The said result is four percent higher form the June survey and is substantially higher than it was at earlier stages in the war.

On the other hand, 16 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners view the current level of U.S. aid as excessive and around 39 percent of Democrats think that the U.S. is providing the right amount of aid, while around a quarter or 24 percent say the U.S. is not providing enough assistance.

Meanwhile, four in ten U.S. adults or 39 percent express approval of the Biden administration’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while a similar share of 41 percent disapprove. Two in ten say they are not sure. Disapproval of the administration’s response has increased slightly from 35 percent to 41 percent since June. has more related stories about the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia as well as the United States' involvement in the war.

Sources for this article include:

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