Ukrainian officials are “freaking out” over the uncertainty about new Ukraine aid being passed through Congress, a Ukrainian member of parliament told POLITICO.
“We are freaking out. For us it is a disaster,” said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, an MP who chairs the committee on Ukraine’s integration into the EU. “We are interested in getting things sorted out so American democracy can function, and so we can restore the bipartisan consensus on supporting their own national interest by supporting Ukraine.”
The ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker means there will likely be no legislative action until a new one is elected. “Until a new speaker is elected, the House cannot vote on laws, but all other work, including in committees, continues,” Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova said in a statement on McCarthy’s ouster.
Markarova said separately that there is at least $1.6 billion left for the US to arm Ukraine using the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), which allows President Biden to send weapons directly from military stockpiles. However, the Pentagon told Congress there is $5.4 billion left in PDA for Ukraine, which became available thanks to an “accounting error” that overvalued previous arms shipments.
Markarova also said there was $1.23 billion left in budgetary aid, which the US provides through the World Bank and pays for Ukrainian government services and salaries, among other things. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the US only has enough budgetary aid to pay for the month of October and that the funds would dry up if Congress doesn’t authorize more aid.