Political chaos undermines Ukraine aid, but options remain, Pentagon’s No 2 says
US Deputy Secretary of Defence Kathleen Hicks. Photo: EPA

US deputy secretary of defence Kathleen Hicks has said that the threat of a government shutdown and other internal upheaval in Washington threatens US military readiness and its ability to support Ukraine.

Earlier this week, House speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted following a dissent from the far-right wing in his Republican party, which accused the speaker of a ‘secret deal’ with the White House to give aid to Ukraine—something they have vehemently opposed.

The House of Representatives will not be able to approve new aid to Ukraine until it elects a new speaker, which has caused worrying in Kyiv.

The US, however, still has options for continued funding of military support for Ukraine, Ms Hicks told Bloomberg news agency in an interview.

"With uncertainty at every turn, we know Russia and the People’s Republic of China aren’t slowing down to let us get our house in order. We need to move with speed and confidence in order to meet the threats and the security needs that we have," Pentagon’s No 2 said.

She noted that the United States has options to continue military assistance to Ukraine, even if Congress does not approve the White House's budget proposal.

"The Pentagon is not yet considering reprogramming money allocated to other areas to make up for the deficit," the official said.

The Biden administration is considering using a State Department grant program to send additional military aid to Ukraine as Congress continues to battle over weapons funding, Politico reported earlier.