Live After Quit

“Ukraine Funding Sparks Controversy During Government Shutdown

Ukraine has become a major political lightning rod in the fight over the U.S. government shutdown, as funds to support the country’s military forces against Russian aggression have become a major sticking point in negotiations. Both the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have sought to secure $3 billion in military aid for Ukraine as part of a budget deal to end the shutdown, while Democrats are pushing for a smaller amount. The politics of the Ukraine saga have created an unusual political dynamic in Washington, with both sides of the aisle taking a hard stance on the issue. In addition to the military aid, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have pushed for the approval of a $750 million loan guarantee that the Obama administration had withheld, citing corruption concerns. Democrats have argued that the loan guarantee should not be approved until Ukraine implements anti-corruption reforms. And while the debate over the loan guarantee and the military aid has taken on a decidedly partisan tone, the broader issue of U.S. support for Ukraine remains a priority issue for both sides of the aisle. For many, the war in Ukraine justifies U.S. assistance as a way to combat Russian aggression. This includes providing defensive weapons to Ukraine, training for the country’s military forces, and other forms of support. This support is seen as necessary as Ukraine continues to face a military incursion from Russia-backed separatists in the eastern regions of the country. The debate over U.S. aid has taken on added urgency as President Vladimir Putin recently ordered a major buildup of forces in the annexed region of Crimea, signaling a renewed Russian effort to destabilize Ukraine. Ultimately, the Ukraine issue will likely remain the biggest sticking point in the negotiations over the budget, as Republicans and Democrats continue to search for a compromise that will bring an end to the partial government shutdown.