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Biden Asks Congress For Additional $24 Billion In Military, Economic Aid For Ukraine

The White House asked Congress for $24 billion dollars in supplementary funding related to its ongoing effort to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia on Thursday, The New York Times reported.

Biden’s request challenges what has been a largely bipartisan effort to provide Ukraine with U.S. weapons and economic aid, as leading House Republicans have vowed not to approve more emergency supplementals for Ukraine, according to the NYT. Out of $40 billion in new U.S. government funding, the new request includes $13 billion for security assistance, $8.5 billion to fund economic and humanitarian programs for Ukraine and other affected countries and $2.3 billion to incentivize other nations to support Ukraine through a World Bank fund.

“The president has reaffirmed that we will stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty for as long as it takes, a strategy that has successfully united our allies and partners and equipped Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California, according to the NYT.

McCarthy promised in June a supplemental appropriation was “not going anywhere” and any additional Ukraine funding would have to proceed through the regular budgeting process, according to the NYT. That month, 70 House Republicans voted to permanently suspend all Ukraine funding.

The supplemental appropriation, meant to give the U.S. government a boost until Congress works out funding for the upcoming fiscal year and avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30, also contains $12 billion for disaster relief, $4 billion for the administration’s southern border efforts and $60 million for firefighter pay, the outlet reported.

In the Senate, Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York affirmed “strong bipartisan support” for the package.

“The latest request from the Biden administration shows America’s continued commitment to helping Americans here at home and our friends abroad; and should send a clear signal to Vladimir Putin, the Chinese government, and others of America’s resolve when it comes to defending democracy around the world,” Schumer said in a statement. “We hope to join with our Republican colleagues this fall to avert an unnecessary government shutdown and fund this critical emergency supplemental request.”

Administration officials say the package should satisfy Ukraine’s needs from the U.S. through the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, which begins in October, according to Politico.

The Pentagon still has about $6 billion remaining left in funds Congress authorized for 2023, as well as about $2.2 billion in long-term contract funding, Politico reported.

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