WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As the funding fight in Congress intensifies, there’s a push to pass urgently needed disaster relief funding separate from more controversial aid for Ukraine.
In the wake of several deadly natural disasters across the U.S., the Federal Emergency Management Agency says it needs more money.
President Joe Biden sent a request to Congress for $40 billion of supplemental funding for disaster relief and aid to Ukraine. Senator Rick Scott is pushing to vote on the issues separately.
“This needs to get done. It needs to get done separately. It needs to get done in a bipartisan manner,” Scott said. “There’s no logic to putting them together. One is taking care of Americans, another is helping Ukraine win a war against Russia.”
Supporting Ukraine is becoming more controversial among U.S. lawmakers. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of a growing number of Republicans who are against sending more aid.
“I’m a no on any spending for Ukraine, that’s one of my red lines,” Greene said.
Democrats are pushing to keep the funding tied together. Congressman Pete Aguilar says separating it would cause delays.
“These are both urgent. Timing matters here in D.C.,” Aguilar said. “Separating bills and running dual tracks, that takes time.”
Congress only has until the end of the month to pass their annual budget or risk a government shutdown. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is pushing to pass a stopgap measure to give them more time to negotiate.
“We’re going to get this done, nobody wins in a government shutdown,” McCarthy said.
If they don’t include the supplemental funding at first, Senator Tim Kaine is hopeful both get included later in the yearly spending package.
“That gives us ample time to have a hard discussion between the Democratic Senate and Republican House and reach compromise on all these issues,” Kaine said.