WASHINGTON — The war in Ukraine is beginning to enter a new phase, a phase in which challenging winter conditions are expected to test the morale of both Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Here in the United States, Congress is entering a new phase as well in which more lawmakers are questioning how much money should be given to this war.
DEBATE OVER FUNDING
The debate over how much to give Ukraine for the war is expected to be part of an intense lame-duck period of Congress in the month of December.
So far, American taxpayers have given $54 billion to the Ukraine war.
For perspective, that's around one-eighth the cost of President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan. However, there is a problem. The money for Ukraine is running out.
As a result, the White House has asked Congress to approve $37 billion more.
That would bring the total price tag to around $91 billion or around one-tenth the amount of that massive infrastructure law from last year.
However, on Capitol Hill, there are questions about whether Congress will approve any major new funding requests, especially in the new year.
That's because more conservatives — who will soon have more influence in the House of Representatives — are questioning the amounts more publically.
"Ukraine is a young democracy; we are sending American taxpayer dollars over there with no oversight," Rep. Barry Moore, a Republican from Alabama, said in a recent press conference.
"When did Ukraine become the 51st state," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, a Republican from Georgia said.
With Republicans taking back the House in January, intense funding debates on this issue are poised to occur.
Even Republican leader Kevin McCarthy recently said in an interview: "There should be no blank check."
All of this puts pressure on the current Congress to substantially fund the war before January.
Democratic leaders have denied any money has been wasted.
For Americans in Ukraine on humanitarian missions, like Adam Eidinger, they say it's imperative Americans know that the aid is appreciated and shouldn't be stopped.
"Morale is extremely high here," Eidinger said via zoom from Ukraine during a recent trip.
"They are getting more and more confident," Eidinger added. "This winter will be hard though — a lot of people are going to die this winter, if the heat and electricity is off."
Expect debates over Ukraine aid to intensify as Congress looks to fund the government by Dec. 16 to prevent a shutdown.