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Congressional Split on Ukraine Aid Evident as Biden Hosts Zelenskyy at White House

President Joe Biden hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House on September 21 in a bid to secure ongoing assistance for Ukraine amidst Russia’s invasion. During the meeting, President Biden announced a new military assistance package for Ukraine worth $325 million, including significant air defense capabilities. However, the request for additional funding is facing political opposition, particularly from divided Republican lawmakers. The Biden administration has asked Congress to authorize $24 billion in additional funding for Ukraine, but concerns from both sides of the aisle have complicated the approval process. Despite this, an overwhelming majority of members, including Democrats and Republicans, are in favor of continuing support for Ukraine. The current funding, amounting to $113 billion, is expected to run out soon, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has requested additional resources from Congress to prevent any disruption in the supply. Some Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition to further funding, demanding transparency on how previous taxpayer money has been used. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy declined the Ukrainian president’s request to address a joint session of Congress, citing ongoing negotiations to fund the government. Meanwhile, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby warned that if the United States abandons Ukraine, the costs, both human and monetary, will be significantly higher. Zelenskyy’s address to the United Nations, where he highlighted Russian aggression and alleged acts of genocide, has strained relations with some European countries, particularly Poland. The Polish government announced that it will halt weapon transfers to Ukraine and cited a dispute over grain exports as the reason for the decision. Despite these challenges, President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to standing with Ukraine and defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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