Zelensky: Senate Ukraine package boosts ‘confidence and motivation’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky applauded the Senate for passing the emergency defense spending bill Tuesday, which could provide $60 billion in funding for the country’s fight against Russia.
“The decision by the United States Senate to continue the support for our country and our warriors has been anticipated not only by us, but also by many other nations, particularly those in Europe,” Zelensky wrote Tuesday in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“The world is looking for American leadership to remain steadfast, help protect lives, and preserve freedom,” he continued. “This truly contributes to confidence and motivation.”
The Senate voted early Tuesday morning to pass the $95.3 emergency defense spending bill following an all-night filibuster by conservatives who objected to the legislation.
The package also includes funding for Israel in its war against the militant Palestinian group Hamas, along with humanitarian assistance for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific.
The fate of the legislation, however, remains uncertain as it heads to the House. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) indicated Monday he would not put it up for a vote because it lacks the stricter border security measures House GOP members demanded months earlier.
Former President Trump and several of his GOP allies in Congress have opposed sending additional funding to Ukraine and argue action should first be taken to curb illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The spending bill’s passage in the upper chamber comes nearly four months after President Biden sent his request to Congress for additional aid to Ukraine and nearly a week after a bipartisan border security deal collapsed amid opposition from Republicans backed by Trump. That package included significant concessions from Democrats on border security and would have unlocked aid for Ukraine.
Lawmakers’ increasing division over additional aid to Ukraine has left funding for Ukraine in limbo for nearly a year. Congress has not passed a bill with funding for the Eastern European country since the end of 2022, when a Democratic majority passed its fourth package for Ukraine.
The Pentagon sounded the alarm over the depleted funding in December and reiterated this call for more aid last week.
“We have no more money, we have no more authority to continue to give [money] to Ukraine,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said.