The White House on Thursday increased pressure on House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to approve its request to tie aid for Ukraine with increased disaster relief funding ahead of a government funding showdown.
The push comes as tension among Republicans in Congress is mounting while lawmakers face an end-of-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown. The White House has called on Congress to pass a short-term spending bill to keep the government running while congressional leaders hash out major differences.
“Like Senate Republicans, Speaker McCarthy should keep his word about government funding. And he should do so in a way that acts on these pressing issues – including fentanyl, national security and disaster response – rather than break his promise and cave to the most extreme members of his conference agitating for a baseless impeachment stunt and shutdown,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told CNN.
The White House is also pressing Congress to fulfill Biden’s supplemental funding request, which asks for more than $24 billion in additional funding to support Ukraine and $16 billion in disaster relief funds.
While the White House wants those two funding items passed together, McCarthy is considering breaking them apart, according to GOP sources, setting up a showdown not just with the White House but also with Senate Republicans.
Leaders in the Senate want to see the Ukraine aid and disaster relief funding tied to a short-term funding resolution, but the GOP remains sharply divided on Ukraine aid as some hardliners in the House have demanded it be stripped out.