Ukrainian Troops Ration Ammo, House Republicans Delay Aid | World News


Washington: Ukrainian drones fly without ammunition. Russian artillery Deliver lethal fire from safe positions beyond the range of Kiev troops. lack of gunpowder US congressional leaders have warned that Moscow has lost ground as a result of the supplies, yet the Republican-controlled House has shown little haste in restarting military supplies to Ukraine. Help, Across Washington, officials are watching the decline in ammunition shipments with growing concern. It has now been more than two months since the US – which has established itself as the “arsenal of democracy” since World War II – last sent military supplies to Ukraine.
But House Speaker Mike Johnson is determined to push his way away from the $95 billion foreign aid package passed by the Senate – a decision that could stall the package for weeks to come after an already months-long wait in Congress. Is.
With cuts in US military shipments, ukrainian soldier Last month it was retaken from the eastern town of Avdiivka, where outnumbered defenders had held off a Russian offensive for four months. Delays in military support from the West are complicating the task for Kiev's military strategists, forcing troops to supply ammunition and ultimately costing the lives of Ukrainian soldiers.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who visited Ukraine last week, said, “If Ukraine gets aid they will win. If they don't get aid they will lose – which will have serious consequences for the United States.”
According to Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, defense officials are discussing options, including possibly tapping existing stockpiles even before Congress approves funding to replenish them. And at a White House meeting this week, President Joe Biden, the two top Democrats in Congress and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell all took turns urging Johnson to take up the Senate-passed package, which would provide $60 billion to Kiev. Will provide assistance. ,
So far, the Republican speaker has refused.
The Louisiana Republican — just four months into the powerful job as speaker, second in line to the presidency — is under intense pressure from all sides. Leaders of 23 European parliaments have signed an open letter urging them to pass the aid. And within his own House ranks, senior Republicans are growing restless over his inaction, with other far-right members even threatening to remove him from leadership if he moves aid to Kiev. Will.
“The House is actively considering options on a way forward, but our first responsibility is to fund the government and our primary responsibility — and it has been for the last three years — is to secure the border,” Johnson said. News conference.
Johnson responded to pressure on Ukraine by saying the House had only received funding legislation in mid-February after the Senate took four months to negotiate, including on enforcement policies at the US-Mexico border. The agreement on border security quickly collapsed after Republicans, including Johnson, criticized the proposal as inadequate. Yet Johnson et al. House Republicans Once again hoping to score some policy victories on border security.
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Congress late last year, he told Johnson the military aid would last until February. But as Congress entered March, Johnson has so far allowed House members to craft their own proposals and revealed little about his plans for the package.
“We are well beyond the time frame that it should have taken, this analysis and careful consideration by the House that should have been completed before the end of the year or shortly after the New Year,” said Arkansas Republican Representative French Hill. ,
Hill and several other senior Republicans are pressing Johnson to act by crafting a new national security package in the House. That bill, which is being drafted by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and key appropriators, is expected to fall short of the $95 billion Senate package, but include many of the same provisions — including that money. Which can be used by Ukraine, Israel and Indo-Pacific allies. Purchasing American military equipment as well as some humanitarian aid.
It could also include a version of the Reconstruction Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians, or REPO Act, Hill said, which would allow the U.S. to tap frozen Russian central bank assets to compensate Ukraine for losses suffered by the invasion. . He said this would save taxpayers money in the long run and help garner Republican votes in the House.
“This is a matter of finding a way forward,” said veteran Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., chairman of the Rules Committee. “But substantial majorities in both houses of Congress want to help Ukraine. There you had 70 votes,” he said of the Senate's strong support, “and here the vote would be much more than 300.”
Representative Anne Kuster of New Hampshire, who leads a caucus of centrist Democrats called the New Dems, said many in her party are ready to help pass the military aid package if Johnson brings it to the House. But he said the bill already passed by the Senate would have broad support.
“We are at a critical moment now and I encourage Speaker Johnson to work with us,” Kuster said. “They have a very slim majority.”
Meanwhile, any decision by the Pentagon to send weapons to Ukraine before Congress approves funding is fraught with risk. Since there is no money to replenish the equipment and weapons sent, the army will be depleting its reserves and risking damaging the unit's readiness for combat.
Additionally, there are concerns that the Pentagon's actions could prevent Congress from moving quickly on a funding bill.
Reed said it would be more appropriate for Congress to pass the supplemental package, because then the Pentagon could “immediately order the equipment that they are removing. We run the risk of not removing the equipment and not being able to replace it.” Or to be confident of replacement”.
But he added, “There may be circumstances where the President will decide to send equipment like ATACMS, even though it will be a difficult decision.”
The US has also fielded medium-range ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) as well as HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). But there has been pressure on the US to send long-range ATACMS. The US has objected out of concerns that Moscow would view them as escalating tensions, as they could reach deep into Russia and Russian-held territory.
However, Ukrainian leaders could use long-range missiles to disrupt Russian supply lines — a capability considered essential as Russian President Vladimir Putin looks to deploy more troops this spring.
Ukraine has also made it clear that its forces also need additional artillery, including 155 mm howitzer rounds as well as air defense ammunition.
Ukrainian officials have expressed confidence they can withstand Russian aggression for the next several months, said Shelby Magid, deputy director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, which advocates U.S. cooperation with Europe. Still, he said the Pentagon's consideration of using drawdown authority sent a serious message that officials view the conflict as having a direct impact on U.S. national security.
Some are warning that if Congress fails to provide aid, U.S. troops will next be called upon to help defend NATO allies.
Schumer said that during his visit to Ukraine, “a prominent American told me that if we didn't get help, Russian tanks could be on the Polish border by December.”

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