White House sends Congress $33 billion request for Ukraine

The high dollar amount demanded is also a signal to Russia that the US wants to support Ukraine in the fight in the long term. It will also likely give a boost to Ukrainians who say they want to defeat Russia and not just settle for a long-term stalemate.

The $20 billion in military assistance includes $5 billion for additional powers to transfer US-held weapons and equipment to Ukraine, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and $4 billion for the Foreign Military Funding Program of the State Department.

Biden and other senior officials have warned that earlier powers to supply US arms are nearing exhaustion after lawmakers allowed $3 billion in equipment shipments last month. Most of the weapons shipped to Ukraine since the beginning of the war have been provided as part of this process, including the transfer of Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles from military stocks.

The Pentagon’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative has provided around $300 million annually over the past few years. So the increase to $6 billion is an increase that would put it on par with other lines of funding to maintain U.S. presence and allied support in the Pacific and across Europe, and highlights the centrality of the White House to the fight looks in Ukraine for regional and global , security.

“The presidential funding request is, in our opinion, necessary to enable Ukraine’s success in the next five months of this war,” a government official told reporters on Wednesday. “And we have every expectation that our partners and allies … will continue to provide comparable support in the future.”

The latest request comes after Congress last month approved nearly $14 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine, including billions to fund the deployment of thousands more U.S. troops in Europe and to replenish depleted U.S. stockpiles of weapons, which are lost after Kyiv were delivered.

Biden’s motion is likely to have near-unanimous support from members of both parties, but it’s far from certain that either house can quickly send it to the president’s desk. Democratic leaders intend to tie it to the president’s separate request for new Covid relief funds — a move Republicans said would derail both packages. Despite the GOP warnings, Biden specifically urged lawmakers to pair the two funding proposals in his letter to Congress Thursday.

A document on the supplement released Thursday morning offered few hard details, but listed “artillery, armored vehicles, anti-tank and anti-aircraft capabilities” as top priorities, along with “accelerated cyber capabilities and advanced air defense systems.” It also hinted that the US is ready to fund the rebuilding of Ukraine’s industrial base, and called for money to fund “improved munitions and strategic minerals production capabilities, as well as increased intelligence support.”

The government’s proposal would provide $16.4 billion for the Department of Defense. This includes the Pentagon’s $6 billion account to arm Ukraine’s military and $2.6 billion to fund troop deployments to Europe.

The package also includes $5.4 billion to replenish military stocks of weapons and equipment that are being sent to the front lines.

Congress already allocated $3.5 billion for weapons replenishment in the last funding package, but concerns have arisen about how long the Pentagon can sustain its arms transfer and how quickly industry can ramp up production to replace them – especially Javelins and Stingers.

Andrew Desiderio and Nahal Toosi contributed to this report. White House sends Congress $33 billion request for Ukraine

Fry Electronics Team

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