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Congress, DC wonders if Biden and McCarthy cut secret Ukraine funding deal


A stopgap bill to fund the federal government until November avoided a shutdown but also lacked aid to Ukraine that President Joe Biden wants.
Congress and the rest of Washington, D.C., buzzed Monday over the question of whether President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy cut a secret deal that could protect future aid for Ukraine as part of an agreement to avoid a government shutdown over the weekend.
The suspicion is that Biden agreed to sign a stop-gap federal government funding deal that did not include Ukraine aid he wanted to provide, in exchange for McCarthy agreeing to hold a standalone vote on that aid later.
“What was the secret side deal on Ukraine?” demanded Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during an angry speech Monday targeting his fellow Republican McCarthy on the House floor.
The answer could determine whether Gaetz follows through on his long-standing threat to force a vote on McCarthy’s speakership, which could come as early as this week. It could also tilt the outcome of that vote.
McCarthy on Monday denied that there was a secret plan for Ukraine funding.
But, McCarthy added, “in a continuing resolution, sometimes you make sure you can move money around freely during the 45 days.”
Much of official Washington was stunned Saturday when Democrats backed a 45-day stopgap government spending bill that did not contain emergency funding for Ukraine, after the White House said an additional $24 billion in aid was needed.

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