The Pentagon is reportedly planning to exempt aid to Ukraine from a potential U.S. government shutdown, sending aid-opposing Republicans into panic.
A government shutdown is increasingly likely as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and far-right Republicans demand a series of concessions. Former President Donald Trump claimed that he personally could end the Russia-Ukraine war “in 24 hours,” and as the September 30 deadline approached, he asked Republicans to “defund all aspects of the government.”
While military operations that are not critical to national security typically cease during a government shutdown, the Pentagon can make some exceptions. Shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington, he decided to exempt Ukraine from a possible shutdown in order to provide more military aid to Ukraine’s efforts to combat the epidemic, Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood told Politico on Thursday. . Russian invasion.
The report angered some “MAGA” Republicans on social media, including Republican politicians who have been outspoken in their opposition to helping Ukraine. Some believe the Biden administration is putting Ukraine’s interests ahead of domestic problems.
“Well, that just says it all, doesn’t it,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. wrote Respond to an article on X (formerly Twitter).
“America First Republicans demand fiscal responsibility. But the only thing the @JoeBiden administration cares about is funding their proxy war in Ukraine,” wrote former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. “They are using hard-working Americans as bargaining chips. Our family has never asked to be a part of their game.”
“Breaking News: Pentagon exempted from all actions with Ukraine if government shuts down… spigots will remain open,” @GuntherEagleman release. “Zelensky doesn’t treat the elderly well. The government hates us.”
Conservative commentator Hodgetwins posted: “So Ukraine was funded during the shutdown but Americans were not? WTF.”
“This is a real coup,” @aimtomisb3hav3 release. “The Pentagon cannot tell Congress what is exempt. You are governed. And those who govern think Ukraine is more important than you.”
The government shutdown could still affect U.S. aid to Ukraine. The exemption will reportedly allow the United States to continue training and other forms of support for Kiev’s military.
Defense Department spokesman Chris Sherwood said in a statement emailed to the Department of Defense Weekly newspaper Operation Atlantic Resolve (the name of the mission to aid Ukraine) was exempted from closure because it “is an exceptional activity under insufficient government funding.”
Sherwood added that the exemption is “consistent” with the department’s contingency plans in the event of a shutdown.
Biden announced an additional $325 million in aid to Ukraine during Zelensky’s visit on Thursday. He also asked Congress to approve another $24 billion in aid, a package that would likely have enough bipartisan support to pass but is currently on hold due to gridlock in the House. The United States has provided approximately $113 billion in aid to Kyiv so far.
A group of 29 Republican members of Congress sent a letter The White House on Thursday vowed to oppose more aid, calling it an “open-ended commitment to support the uncertain nature of the war in Ukraine.”