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Speaker Johnson: US spending deal almost resolved, aid to allies next

Speaker Johnson: US spending deal almost resolved, aid to allies next US House Speaker Mike Johnson (Getty Images)

Since the main priority issue for Congress - reaching a deal on the US government's budget for 2024 - is almost resolved, American lawmakers will soon turn their attention to the aid package for Ukraine and other partners, according to Voice of America.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson said at a press conference on March 20 that after resolving budgetary issues, lawmakers will shift focus to aid for allies and will not delay.

Congress has to approve the budget by March 22 to avoid a shutdown, so according to Johnson, this will happen this week.

However, as the media notes, after March 22, the House of Representatives will go on a two-week break, so consideration of the bill on funding aid to Ukraine will most likely take place after April 8.

Johnson adds that besides the additional funding package for partners, there is a lot of thoughtful and purposeful work being done among legislators regarding a bill that would allow the use of confiscated assets of Russian oligarchs to partially pay for aid to Ukraine, as well as the concept of assisting with loans.

"There is a lot of thoughtful, deliberate work and discussion going on amongst a subset of members about all that. Look, we understand the role America plays in the world. We understand the importance of sending a strong signal to the world that we stand by our allies and cannot allow terrorists and tyrants to marsh through the globe," the Speaker said.

US assistance to Ukraine

US Congress has been unable to approve new funding for assistance to Ukraine to continue arms supplies for several months.

Currently, there is a bill under consideration for aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan totaling $96 billion. Over $60 billion is allocated for Ukraine's needs in this bill. It needs to be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by the president.

Johnson stated that the House of Representatives would unblock the bill, but it would be significantly different from the one approved by the Senate. Options are being considered for providing aid to Ukraine through a loan or credit program.