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MNI POLITICAL RISK - Congress Set For Showdown Over Ukraine

Executive Summary:

  • OMB Director Shalanda Young has issued a letter to Congressional leaders warning that funds for Ukraine will run out by the end of the year without additional Congressional authorisation. Comes as talks between Senate negotiators on on the US-Mexico border policy, seen as critical to unlocking Republican support for Ukraine funding, appear to have collapsed, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tees up a vote this week.
  • An expansion of the Israel-Hamas war into southern Gaza, where hundreds-of-thousands of displaced persons have taken refuge, is set to test the strength of the US-Israel relationship.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a speech on Saturday: “...the center of gravity is the civilian population. And if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat... I have repeatedly made clear to Israel’s leaders that protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza is both a moral responsibility and a strategic imperative."
  • House Republicans are expected to press ahead with a vote to authorise impeachment inquiries into President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as soon as this week.
  • The Biden administration appears to be walking away from using the term ‘Bidenomics’ to describe President Biden’s domestic economic agenda.
  • Five Republican Senators have called on President Biden to restrict travel between the US and China following a spike in cases of respiratory illness in China.
  • Poll of the Day: Voter views on the US economy and data on the actual performance of the economy are out of alignment.

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