House Democratic leaders anticipate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will prioritize voting for Ukraine assistance after approving a temporary spending measure preventing a government shutdown.
A collective statement issued from House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-NY) office on Saturday has been labeled as a “side agreement” by several Republicans dissenting the 45-day interim funding.
Upon reconvening, the statement expressed the expectation that Speaker McCarthy would move a bill supporting Ukraine for a direct vote. The statement emphasized, “Our goal is to ensure that Vladimir Putin, Russia, and authoritarianism are defeated. Our solidarity with the Ukrainian people is unwavering until victory is achieved.”
This announcement was jointly made by Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA), and Vice Chair Ted Lieu (D-CA).
By a 335-91 margin, the House approved a 45-day budget extension without additional Ukrainian aid. This comes as Ukraine has been resisting Russian aggression for over eighteen months. The legislation, endorsed by the Democrat-majority Senate and signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday evening, offers a window for lawmakers to finalize budget allocations for the upcoming fiscal year.
This pronouncement by the House Democrats stirred intense reactions online, with the future actions of the House being a subject of speculation.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) expressed his astonishment on platform X, saying, “[McCarthy] secretly negotiated a Ukraine deal with Democrats and disclosed it to House Republicans only post the passage of his Continuing Resolution. Such deception!” Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) publicized a letter urging McCarthy to advocate for peace negotiations before sanctioning more funds for a non-domestic conflict.
In weekend TV interviews, Gaetz also indicated he would initiate a vote of no confidence against McCarthy in the upcoming week, highlighting several points of contention, including the Ukraine issue.
Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich highlighted the cruciality of Democratic backing for McCarthy to counter any motion to vacate his position. In this context, the Democrats expect McCarthy to present a Ukraine-related bill for deliberation.
President Biden has approached Congress seeking an additional $24 billion for military and humanitarian aid in the Ukraine crisis, supplementing the previously designated $113 billion.