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Congress faces crucial decision on last military aid package for Ukraine

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The US government has revealed the contents of what it deems the “year’s final package” of weapons designated for Ukraine, emphasizing that this marks the culmination of available aid under existing authorization.

The State Department, in a detailed statement, disclosed that the comprehensive package, valued at up to $250 million, encompasses critical air-defense and artillery munitions.

President Joe Biden, underscoring his commitment to supporting Ukraine, has championed the flow of U.S. weapons and financial assistance, proving instrumental in Ukraine’s resistance against the formidable Russian onslaught. However, the political landscape in Congress has become a battleground, particularly among right-wing Republicans.

A faction within the party staunchly opposes further aid, linking their approval to stringent measures against illegal migration over the U.S. southern border.

The urgency conveyed by the State Department is palpable, urging Congress, where Republicans are divided on the issue, to “act swiftly” in deciding the fate of the aid package.

The statement highlights the collaborative effort of a “U.S.-led coalition” comprising “more than 50 countries” supporting Ukraine.

The aid package, which includes a diverse range of munitions, such as air-defense components, artillery ammunition, anti-armor munitions, and over 15 million rounds of ammunition, is crucial for Ukraine’s defense against the far superior Russian force.

Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak expressed gratitude for the aid, stating, “Thank you for your help. We will win,” on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).

However, the impending drawdown of U.S. military aid, as highlighted by White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, leaves no room for replenishment authority. Kirby emphasized the imperative need for Congress to act promptly.

Efforts in December by Senate Democrats to strike a last-minute deal faced hurdles, and as Congress reconvenes on January 8, the challenge remains significant.

The complexity of finding common ground on immigration, a persistent issue in U.S. politics, poses a formidable obstacle.

Even if a deal materializes in the Senate, approval in the House of Representatives, where hard-right Republicans hold sway, presents another hurdle to ensuring continued support for Ukraine in its struggle against the Russian invasion.

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