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A Ukrainian soldier sits in his position in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Aug. 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Libkos, File)

With US Aid for Ukraine Stalled, Senator Points to Big Problem: 'We Don't Make Enough Munitions'

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WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden is underscoring the United States' commitment to supporting Ukraine.

As the second anniversary of Russia's brutal invasion approaches, the Russian military is boasting its forces have taken over a city in eastern Ukraine. 

The White House confirmed Ukraine's forces withdrew from Avdiivka, which has been the focus of intense combat for months. Experts say it's likely a morale boost for Russia. 

Biden called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the weekend and he emphasized the urgent need for Congress to take action. But some U.S. lawmakers are not on board. 

"The way they're walking away from the threat of Russia. The way they're walking away from NATO. The way they're walking away from meeting our obligations, it's just shocking. I've never seen anything like it," Biden told the press. 

Biden is blasting Republicans in Congress for not swiftly backing Ukrainian allies.

In a statement, the president blamed "congressional inaction" for why Ukraine's military is rationing ammunition due to its dwindling supplies. 

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At a key international security conference Sunday, one Republican opponent of any new U.S. funding for Ukraine got frank about U.S. limitations, arguing against the support package stuck in Congress and that Russia had an incentive to negotiate peace.

"Fundamentally, the limiting factors for American support of Ukraine, it's not money, it's munitions," Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) said. "America and this is true by the way of Europe, too, we don't make enough munitions to support a war in eastern Europe, a war in the Middle East, and potentially a contingency in east Asia. So, the United States is fundamentally limited."

Currently, U.S. aid for Ukraine remains in limbo in Congress with the Republican leadership set to determine whether the House will agree to approve more aid for the country or allow the U.S. commitment to wither.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Zelenskyy, and others advocated for the passage of the $61 billion aid package at the Munich Security Conference.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told U.S. lawmakers in private that their "lack of a decision" is having an impact on the battlefield, according to the Associated Press.

Stoltenberg thanked NATO allies for what they've sent so far and said he's interested in seeing the allies provide weapons and even military training. 

A poll by the Pew Research Center last December found Americans split over U.S. support for Ukraine. About three in ten Americans (31%) say the United States is providing too much assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, while about half say that the U.S. is providing the right amount of support (29%) or not providing enough (18%).

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