Senate leaders have reached a short-term budget deal aimed at averting a government shutdown this week, which includes a provision providing $6 billion in aid to Ukraine. The deal, which was hashed out between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), sets up a potential showdown with the House, where Republicans, who see the aid as a potential giveaway to Russia, are balking at the plan.
The short-term bill, a seven-month measure, also provides $4.6 billion for unfinished business in Iraq and Afghanistan, and increases spending for medical research at the National Institutes of Health. It was unclear how the House would respond, and the chamber will not return from recess until Thursday. However, divisions between the two chambers could prove particularly sharp over the Ukraine aid, which Republicans view as a giveaway to Russia at the expense of the United States.
If no budget agreement is reached between the House and the Senate, the government could be forced to shut down, in which case all non-essential services would cease to operate until a solution was found. However, the possibility of a shutdown appears remote, as both sides have expressed a hope to reach an agreement before the deadline.