By Justin Cooper
The White House asked Congress to approve $37.7 billion in aid for Ukraine, on top of nearly $66 billion already approved since Russia invaded the country in February.
The new aid would include $21.7 billion for equipment and military support; $14.5 billion to fund the country’s government and for humanitarian aid; $626 million for energy assistance; and $900 million for health care, CNBC reported.
Congress is expected to consider the aid ahead of a Dec. 16 deadline to pass a bill funding the government, NPR reported.
This aid package would follow three prior packages approved by Congress that totaled $65.9 billion.
Three-quarters of the aid already approved by Congress has been spent or allocated, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.
President Joe Biden has also used his “drawdown” authority to send more than $18.6 billion worth of equipment directly from Defense Department stockpiles. Another $400 million drawdown was approved last week.
In a letter requesting the funds, Young said, “We have provided significant assistance that has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield—and we cannot let that support run dry.”
As well as the government funding deadline, the Biden administration is also facing likely Republican control of the House of Representatives following the midterm elections.
The most public skepticism of ongoing Ukraine aid has come from Republicans, including from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said “there should be no blank check.” Fifty-seven House Republicans and 11 in the Senate voted against a $40 billion aid package in May.
Several influential conservative groups submitted a letter against new Ukraine aid in the lame duck session to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McCarthy, who is expected to be the next speaker if Republicans take the House.
“The 118th Congress should be sworn in before further deliberations on additional Ukrainian aid occur so that these critical issues can enjoy the thorough debate they deserve by officials who more accurately reflect the current will of the American people,” the letter says.
This is a breaking news story. The details have been periodically updated as more information has become available.
Source: American Military News