The White House on Friday asked Congress to approve $13.7 billion to address Russia’s continued military invasion of Ukraine as part of a short-term funding bill.
The Biden administration is requesting that Congress authorize $11.7 billion in additional security and economic assistance for Ukraine and $2 billion to help shore up domestic energy supplies to offset impacts of the war on the global energy market.
“We have rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine to defend their democracy and we simply cannot allow that support to Ukraine to run dry,” an administration official told reporters when previewing the request on Friday.
The White House says that the funds are needed to sustain the pace of aid to Ukraine for the first three months of fiscal 2023, which begins at the start of October. The administration official said roughly three-fourths of the funds Congress has already approved for Ukraine have been spent or obligated.
Congress on a bipartisan basis has approved over $53 billion in security, economic and humanitarian assistance to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this year. Biden signed the last package, totaling $40 billion, into law in May. At the time, the White House said it expected those funds to last through the end of the fiscal year.
Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government on a short-term basis to allow lawmakers more time to reach an agreement on a larger funding measure. The administration official noted Friday the duration of the short-term funding bill is up to Congress. It would need to be passed by the time the current fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 in order to prevent a government shutdown.
In addition to more funding for Ukraine, the White House is also asking Congress to authorize billions more in funding for the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response, monkeypox response and disaster relief efforts as part of a continuing resolution. The emergency funding request totals $47.1 billion.
There is bipartisan support for sending assistance to Ukraine as it grapples with more than six months of attacks from Russia, though it’s possible at least some Republicans will question the latest funding request.
The White House is asking Congress to approve $4.5 billion for military equipment and replenishing Pentagon stockpiles, $2.7 billion in defense and intelligence aid for Ukraine and $4.5 billion for budgetary support for Ukraine’s government.
The request also asks for $2 billion to support domestic energy sources — $1.5 billion for uranium to fuel nuclear reactors and $500 million to modernize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to address impacts of Russia’s war on energy supply and prices.
Source: The Hill