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Biden administration unveils new Ukraine aid package ahead of contentious vote

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The Biden administration unveiled a new Ukraine aid package Wednesday, as the White House pushes for Congress to approve legislation that would provide additional support for Kyiv amid its ongoing war with Russia.

The package “uses the limited resources that remain available to help Ukraine,” the State Department said in a release, to provide up to $175 million of arms and equipment under previously directed drawdowns.

“Unless Congress acts to pass the President’s national security supplemental funding request, this will be one of the last security assistance packages we can provide to Ukraine,” the release reads. 

The White House warned this week that the U.S. will run out of money for Ukraine amid its war with Russia unless Congress takes action by the end of the year — and the clock is ticking toward a key procedural Senate vote on Wednesday related to a $106 billion emergency foreign aid package that includes more than $61 billion for Ukraine.

“Helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression and secure its future advances our national security interests and contributes to global stability around the world, and we need Congress to act immediately,” the State Department said in the release on the new package. 

Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote in a recent letter to congressional leaders that the government is “out of money — and nearly out of time” to continue giving aid to Ukraine, and urged lawmakers to approve Biden’s request for billions more in support to Kyiv. 

Congress has struggled to pass support for Ukraine, with some Republicans skeptical of continued U.S. support amid the war that’s approaching its two-year mark. 

“Congress needs to pass supplemental funding for Ukraine before they break for the holiday recess, it’s as simple as that,” Biden said on Wednesday. He accused Republicans of giving Russian President Vladimir Putin “the greatest gift he could hope for” by stalling the effort. 

The newly unveiled package — which includes air defense munitions, artillery ammunition, anti-armor missiles and anti-tank weapons — uses assistance previously authorized for Ukraine in drawdowns from prior fiscal years, according to a release from the Defense Department. 

“Security assistance for Ukraine is a smart investment in our national security,” the release reads. “It helps to prevent a larger war in the region and deter potential aggression elsewhere, while strengthening our defense industrial base and creating highly skilled jobs for the American people.”


Source: The Hill

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