Biden Asking For Billions In New Aid For Ukraine

The Biden administration is reportedly gearing up to request billions more in aid to Ukraine. This comes alongside a potential ask for U.S. disaster relief funding, even as some critics question prioritizing foreign assistance over domestic issues.

According to Bloomberg, an individual familiar with the matter disclosed that President Biden is set to request at least $25 billion. This sizable amount will be divided, with approximately $12 billion earmarked for U.S. disaster relief and $13 billion directed toward defense funds, including assistance for Ukraine.

Politico, citing two sources, backed up the claim, indicating that the request, which is expected to be unveiled on Thursday, will also encompass aid for Taiwan.

While Ukraine remains in a fierce struggle against Russian aggression, many wonder if the country requires further funding. Already, Washington has injected at least $66 billion to assist the Eastern European nation. On top of this, the Pentagon has revealed that more than $6 billion has been allocated for military aid to Ukraine. This week, they are set to announce another previously allocated package worth around $200 million will be delivered.

The current funding model for the Ukraine war effort operates through two programs: the presidential drawdown authority (PDA) and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The latter funds extended contracts for more substantial weapon systems. The PDA will already have exhausted its funds for 2023 had the Pentagon not identified an accounting error that overvalued earlier rounds of weapons provided to Ukraine. Thus, roughly $6.2 billion remains in PDA money, from which the $200 million aid package will be drawn.

Such hefty contributions to Ukraine are not without their critics. Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) remarked on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Americans are struggling under ‘Bidenomics’, watching a border invasion bring crime & drugs to our communities, and witnessing a corrupt two-tiered justice system, and this President wants billions more $ for Ukraine. Put Americans first.”

Adding complexity to the situation, the end of the fiscal year is looming on September 30. As we reach that deadline, the U.S. government’s Disaster Relief Fund is anticipated to be billions in the red, with a significant portion of the drain attributable to COVID-19-related expenditures.

This leads to an inevitable question — is it feasible to juggle aid to Ukraine, Taiwan, and U.S. disaster relief all at once, especially given the expected shortfalls?

As Politico noted, passing a stopgap could be challenging, demanding bipartisan cooperation, particularly in the House. Here, Republicans are contending with thin margins, and many conservatives staunchly oppose passing temporary funding that doesn’t implement significant spending cuts or align with GOP policy objectives.

Furthermore, concerns have arisen over how assistance to Ukraine has been utilized so far.
As fiscal cliffs approach and debates intensify, Americans will keenly observe where their tax dollars are funneled. The coming weeks will be telling regarding administration priorities, budgetary prudence and balancing international aid with domestic needs.