June 19, 2024

Senate leaders are headed toward unveiling a short-term government funding stopgap measure that will be relatively clean and is not expected to include significant amounts of money for the war in Ukraine or disaster relief, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) want to avoid a government shutdown at week’s end, first and foremost.

Whether the continuing resolution will include any money for supporting the war in Ukraine is an issue the leaders are still negotiating but if Ukraine money is included it will be far less than the $24 billion that President Biden requested for Ukraine in August, according to people familiar with the state of play.

Disaster relief money is also in limbo as Democrats want to tie it to President Biden’s full request for emergency funding.

How much money is included to support Ukraine, a priority that received fresh attention last week when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to senators in the Old Senate Chamber, could depend on the length of the funding stopgap.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) last week attempted to request unanimous consent on the Senate floor to add $16.5 billion to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund but Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) objected, arguing it should not be separated from the rest of Biden’s funding request, which covered disaster relief, funding for firefighters and military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

The Senate will vote Tuesday at 5:30 pm on a motion to end debate on the motion to proceed to the legislative vehicle for the funding stopgap.

The continuing resolution will pass the Senate later in the week but any senator could drag out the proceeding until Saturday or Sunday by refusing to waive procedural hurdles.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has threatened to hold up the funding measure if it includes significant new funding for Ukraine.

“I will oppose any effort to hold the federal government hostage for Ukraine funding. I will not consent to expedited passage of any spending measure that provides any more U.S. aid to Ukraine,” he warned on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *