Biden asks Congress for $40 BILLION in extra funds – including an extra $13 BILLION for Ukraine – teeing up potential showdown with Congress
- The total $40 billion request includes $13 billion in emergency defense aid and wildfire pay and an additional $8 billion for humanitarian support of Ukraine
- Also includes $12B for disaster relief after a season of heat and storms, as well as $4B for the border and to combat fentanyl to attract Republicans to the deal
The Biden administration asked Congress on Thursday for an additional $21 billion in funding for Ukraine, teeing off a bitter showdown with the GOP-controlled House.
The total $40 billion request includes $13 billion in emergency defense aid and wildfire pay and an additional $8 billion for humanitarian support of Ukraine, as well as $12 billion for disaster relief after a season of heat and storms, as well as $4 billion for the border and to combat fentanyl to attract Republicans to the deal.
The breakdown of the $13 billion defense request includes $9.5 billion for equipment and replenishment of Pentagon stocks and $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence and other defense support.
A view shows a site of a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine August 10, 2023
A handout photo made available by the National Police of Ukraine shows the aftermath of a rocket strike in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, 10 August 2023, amid the Russian invasion
The short-term funding request is for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has already swatted away the idea of supplemental aid, saying he would insist on adhering to the $886 billion defense cap agreed to in the debt limit deal.
‘We just worked on an agreement,’ McCarthy told reporters previously, referring to the debt ceiling deal. ‘Working [on] a supplemental right now is only blowing up the agreement. That’s all about spending more money. So, no, I do not support a supplemental.’
But President Biden has said the U.S. will support Ukraine in its fight against Russia ‘for as long as it takes.’
Privately, administration officials have warned Ukrainian officials that there is a limit to the patience of a narrowly divided Congress – and American public – for the costs of a war with no clear end.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement there was strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate.
Ukrainian soldiers are seen inside a M109 self-propelled howitzer on the frontline in the Zaporizhzhya region, the site of the heaviest battles with the Russian troops, Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023
A destroyed dam and water power plant are seen on the Oskil River as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues in Oskil village of Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on August 10, 2023
A beached boat is seen on the Oskil River as the Russian-Ukrainian war continues in Oskil village of Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on August 10, 2023
“The latest request from the Biden administration shows America´s continued commitment to helping Americans here at home and our friends abroad,” he said. “We hope to join with our Republican colleagues this fall to avert an unnecessary government shutdown and fund this critical emergency supplemental request.
“For people who might be concerned the costs are getting too high, we´d ask them what the costs – not just in treasure but in blood, perhaps even American blood – could be if Putin subjugates Ukraine,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said this week.
Support among the American public for providing Ukraine weaponry and direct economic assistance has waned with time.
A recent CNN poll found that a majority of Americans do not believe the U.S. should be giving any more aid to Ukraine. Overall 55 percent say Congress should not authorize more funding for Ukraine while 45 percent say Congress should.