The Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are urging the White House to release security assistance funds for Ukraine meant to deter Russia.
In a letter to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and acting White House budget director Russ Vought, Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and ranking Republican Michael McCaul of Texas called the $250 million Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative “critical to the Ukrainian people to deter ongoing Russian aggression.”
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“We strongly urge immediate action to ensure this central component of security assistance to Ukraine moves forward,” the congressmen wrote. “Inasmuch as the authority to obligate the funds under the OMB ‘hold’ expires on September 30, we are concerned that further delay would effectively cancel this appropriation in contravention of an Act of Congress.”
POLITICO reported last week that the Trump administration is slow-walking the funding. While an administration official said the pause was to ensure the money is spent in line with U.S. interests, the move has drawn rebukes from both parties in Congress who have called the funding crucial as the Ukrainian military combats Russian-backed separatists.
A bipartisan group of senators has also urged the Trump administration to release the security assistance.