McCarthy Announces Plan to Keep $300M Ukraine Aid In Pentagon Funding Bill: Find Out Why

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 09/23/2023
In a notable turn of events, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has made the decision to retain Ukraine aid in the Pentagon funding bill. This decision marks a reversal from his previous announcement, made just one day prior, in which he had stated his intention to remove the funding due to opposition from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

During a press conference held in the Capitol, McCarthy informed reporters about his decision to retain the $300 million of Ukraine aid within the bill. He explained that he arrived at this conclusion after realizing that another spending measure, which is scheduled to be discussed the following week, also includes funding for Kyiv within its provisions.


The Speaker explained that removing the Ukraine aid from the State Department and Foreign Operations measure would pose challenges. This realization prompted the Speaker to make the decision to retain the funds for Kyiv in both measures.

Next week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to conduct a procedural vote that will serve as a means to move forward with four appropriations bills. These bills encompass various areas of government funding, including allocations for the Department of Defense, the State Department, and Foreign Operations.

According to McCarthy, the act of removing the Ukraine aid from the Pentagon appropriations bill does not effectively address the issue at hand, as there are still other matters related to Ukraine that need to be resolved. The decision was made to leave it in because the task had become too challenging to complete.

According to Representative Garret Graves (R-La.), the House is set to vote on amendments that aim to remove the Ukraine aid from the Pentagon and State Department and Foreign Operations spending bills. If lawmakers prevent the measures from being debated, the votes may not occur.

The decision made by McCarthy to exclude Ukraine aid from the pair of appropriations bills is expected to generate opposition from Greene. Greene had previously opposed a procedural vote to advance the Pentagon appropriations bill due to its inclusion of funding for Kyiv. The congresswoman has expressed her opposition to providing further financial assistance to Ukraine.

According to McCarthy, it is anticipated that Greene will express her opposition towards the procedural vote aimed at advancing the four spending bills. This opposition is primarily driven by the inclusion of Ukraine aid within these bills.

According to McCarthy, it is his belief that Marjorie continues to face a problem.

Later, he expressed his belief that she would vote against the rule if it was included. This is why he attempted to find a solution that would allow everyone to participate. However, the outcome of this particular situation was not successful.

This week, a group of House conservatives deviated from the usual practice and expressed their opposition to the rule governing the Pentagon appropriations bill. As a result, they effectively prevented the legislation from progressing to the stage of debate and a final vote for approval. The unsuccessful votes have had negative consequences for McCarthy, as he has been striving to advance spending bills before the government funding deadline on September 30th.

In the realm of legislative debate, the voting process on rules is typically characterized by a partisan and foreseeable pattern. It is customary for the majority party to align in favor of voting "yes," while the minority party tends to cast their votes in opposition by voting "no." Instances of rules failing on the floor are exceedingly uncommon.

On Tuesday, Greene expressed her support for the rule, however, her stance shifted on Thursday when she voted against it. The reason behind her change of position was her concern regarding the Ukraine aid.

The Pentagon funding bill allocates $300 million to support the military and national security forces of Ukraine. This assistance includes various forms of aid such as training, equipment, lethal assistance, logistics support, supplies and services, salaries and stipends, sustainment, and intelligence support. The funding is intended to assist the Ukrainian forces in their efforts to resist Russian aggression. It also covers the replacement of any weapons or articles previously provided by the United States to the Government of Ukraine.

In an attempt to sway Greene's vote, McCarthy made an announcement on Friday outlining his intention to remove the Ukraine funding from the spending bill. Additionally, he proposed a separate vote specifically dedicated to the Ukraine funding.

In a statement to The Hill on Friday, Greene, who has established a strong alliance with McCarthy, expressed her satisfaction in successfully achieving a particular outcome. She expressed pride in her role in bringing about this achievement. However, she also acknowledged that the exclusion of Ukraine funding from the legislation should have occurred earlier, emphasizing the belief that this action should have been taken weeks ago.

The speaker observed that the House was scheduled to deliberate on a forthcoming appropriations bill that would allocate a significant amount of funds to Ukraine. This implies that a similar process of discussion and decision-making is expected to occur once again in the near future.


Adding the SFOPS (State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs) to the equation introduces the inclusion of Ukraine funds, which subsequently complicates the task at hand. The individual expressed their attempt to find a solution to a problem. They believed that if the voting was solely focused on the Department of Defense appropriations bill, they would have been able to resolve it. However, they acknowledged that the current situation presented additional challenges, making the resolution more complex. This statement was made to reporters.


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