Tommy Patrio Sorongan, CNBC Indonesia
Tuesday, 09/26/2023 15:40 WIB
Foto: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE
Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The United States (US) is currently under threat of a government shutdown. This is due to heated debate in Congress so that parliament has not been able to determine the budget.
One of the hot debates that graced Uncle Sam’s Parliament was aid for Ukraine, which was at war with Russia. It is known that Washington is the largest donor to Ukraine, having so far spent more than US$ 113 billion (Rp. 1,746 trillion).
Several sources in parliament told New York Times that the main sticking point is whether to add up to US$ 25 billion (Rp. 386 trillion) in new aid to Ukraine. The opposition in the Republican Party itself rejected this proposal requested by the White House.
“While there is broad bipartisan support in the Senate for funding for Ukraine, some Republicans argue that this would add complexity to efforts to give Chairman Kevin McCarthy a way out of the state spending impasse,” the officials were quoted as saying Tuesday (26/ 9/2023).
On Monday, Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said that her party still rejects proposals related to Ukraine, especially if it involves separate funding for the warring country. It is known that separating the budget will save the country’s funding for crucial domestic needs.
“How many Republicans will vote to give Biden a blank check to fund his proxy war with Russia in Ukraine?,” he explained on his X social media account.
Even so, several members who agreed to the additional aid scheme to Ukraine did not give up. They urged that Ukrainian funds be included in the interim budget.
Their rationale regarding this is that failure to show support for Ukraine was a big mistake, especially after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met privately with members of the Senate during his visit last week.
“He answered questions for an hour about support from allies and other partners, transparency and accountability regarding that assistance, how he sees the war ending and what he thinks will happen if we don’t support Ukraine,” said Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware.
“I think for us in the Senate, after offering our broad and strong support, to continue appropriations without additional support for Ukraine, it would send the wrong signal to our partners, our allies and our adversaries around the world.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican from Kentucky and minority leader, is one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters on Capitol Hill. He also joined the Democratic Party to achieve higher levels of government spending than Republican members of the House.
Even so, the hammer for important decisions still has to pass through House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. With the threat of running out of government money in six days, McCarthy is known to be seeking consensus between the two opposing camps in parliament regarding the budget.
During a Republican conference call Saturday afternoon, McCarthy encouraged his members to support a short-term spending bill that includes funding for border security. This will provide a position for House Republicans to begin negotiations with the Senate.
“We’re going to continue to work with the community. I just believe if you don’t fund the troops and don’t fund the border, it’s very hard to think that you’re going to win on a government shutdown. I’ve been there a few times,” McCarthy said.
However, getting solid support is not easy. The reason is, there is still strong resistance from the Republican camp which does not agree regarding several budget points such as aid to Ukraine.
“Don’t let the DC uniparty scare you into thinking that a government shutdown is the end of the world. The so-called shutdown is actually a pause in non-essential federal government spending,” said Republican Andy Biggs of Arizona.
While this situation has not yet ended, President Joe Biden is starting to speak out and give warnings regarding the shutdown. He said a government shutdown would endanger the finances of workers at national parks, museums and other places that operate with federal funds.
“Funding the government is one of Congress’ most basic responsibilities,” the Democratic Party politician told reporters at the White House, quoted from AFPTuesday (26/9/2023).
“And if Republicans in the House don’t do that, we have to stop electing them.”
The Biden administration also warned that 7 million people who depend on food assistance programs for women and children could also see funding cut.
Watch the video below:
US Threatened with Shutdown Due to Budget Debate in Congress
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