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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say if President Joe Biden was telling the truth when he said there was a deal with Republicans in Congress on funding for the Ukraine.
On Sunday, Biden said he had a deal with Speaker Kevin McCarthy to send more money to Kyiv.
His remarks led to Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz accusing the speaker of making a ‘secret deal.’ McCarthy, however, told reporters there was no deal.
The White House didn’t offer any clarity on Monday.
‘There’s obviously bipartisan support to continue the funding to Ukraine,’ Jean-Pierre said when asked if there was a specific deal.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say if President Joe Biden was telling the truth when he said there was a deal with Republicans on funding for the Ukraine
‘What we’re seeing currently from Congress is there has been – there has been overwhelming support,’ she added.
She declined to say what exactly Biden was referring to when he told reporters he’d made a deal with McCarthy on Ukraine.
‘I’m not going to go beyond what the president said,’ she said. She said more aid would be announced ‘soon.’
Biden, on Sunday, when talking about the bill to fund the government through mid-November, when he was asked if he would be able to trust McCarthy on the next deal.
‘We just made one about Ukraine. So, we’ll find out,’ he replied without giving any details on what he meant.
His remark left room for interpretation that there was a new deal made with McCarthy on funding for the war effort – despite opposition from hardline Republicans.
Congress averted a government shutdown by passing a short-term funding bill over the weekend, but it was passed without any funding for the war effort in Ukraine.
And the Pentagon warned Congressional leaders that it was running low on money to replace weapons the U.S. had sent to Kyiv, according to a letter to them obtained by the Associated Press.
Biden and his administration have pushed to keep funding Ukraine’s fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But the speaker denied any deal was made.
‘There is no side deal, so I don’t know who is bringing that up,’ McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday.
President Joe Biden on Sunday indicated he had a deal with Speaker Kevin McCarthy on funding for the Ukraine
Speaker McCarthy denied he had a deal with Biden on funding for Kyiv
McCarthy’s remarks came after Gaetz, who is threatening to push for a vote to remove McCarthy from the speakership, took to the House floor to rail against McCarthy, accusing him of making a ‘secret deal’ with Democrats on funding for Ukraine.
‘It is becoming increasingly clear who the Speaker of the House already works for and it’s not the Republican Conference.’
Funding for Ukraine has become an issue for the conservative Republican base, which has been vocal of its opposition of it.
Gaetz berated McCarthy to ‘tell us what was in the secret Ukraine side deal’ as he railed against him. The conservative wing of House Republicans also opposed doing a temporary deal to fund the government.
So McCarthy went around them, using the votes of Democrats to pass the funding measure.
Meanwhile, despite heavy lobbying from the administration – which included personal appeals from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – funding for the Ukraine was left out of the measure.
Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord told House and Senate leaders in the letter on Monday there is $1.6 billion left of the $25.9 billion Congress provided to replenish U.S. military stocks that have been going to the Ukraine.
McCord said the U.S. has completely run out of long-term funding for Kyiv.
‘We have already been forced to slow down the replenishment of our own forces to hedge against an uncertain funding future,’ McCord said in the letter. ‘Failure to replenish our military services on a timely basis could harm our military’s readiness.’
Biden, meanwhile, is planning to call allies to reassure them that US support for Ukraine will continue, according to Bloomberg News.
The calls could begin as soon as Tuesday.