The White House is requesting Congress to approve additional funding for Ukraine in its conflict against Russia. In an open letter posted on the White House website, Shalanda Young, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, emphasized the urgency of the situation and called for immediate action.
The letter stressed the importance of continuing to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom and preventing Putin and autocracy from prevailing. It highlighted the pressing need for financial resources to procure weapons and equipment for Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression. The White House warned that without congressional intervention, the funds would run out by the end of the year.
The Biden Administration has failed to substantively address any of my conference’s legitimate concerns about the lack of a clear strategy in Ukraine, a path to resolving the conflict, or a plan for adequately ensuring accountability for aid provided by American taxpayers.… https://t.co/nwthjRxqyP
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) December 4, 2023
According to the letter, cutting off the supply of U.S. weapons and equipment to Ukraine would severely hinder its ability to fight on the battlefield, jeopardizing the progress made by the country and increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories. While other countries have stepped up their support, the White House emphasized that U.S. assistance is crucial and cannot be replicated by others.
The letter also provided information on the allocation of previous aid to Ukraine. Of the $111 billion approved, $67 billion went back to defense companies for weapon production. Furthermore, it revealed that a significant portion of emergency funding for State and USAID humanitarian assistance did not reach Ukraine but was instead used to support vulnerable populations impacted by Russia’s aggression.
President Biden has proposed $61.4 billion in emergency funding as part of a $106 billion aid package for Ukraine. However, resistance from Congress has hindered its approval. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to hold a vote on the package in the Democrat-controlled Senate this week.
Although House Speaker Mike Johnson is not opposed to additional aid for Ukraine, not all House Republicans share the same view. Many Republicans are against providing more funding to Ukraine, and Johnson has sought to link aid to Ukrainian priorities.
Former national security advisor John Bolton has urged swift action on the aid, warning that if the U.S. fails to help Ukraine, Russia will ultimately emerge victorious. He emphasized the need for a winning strategy with Ukraine, rather than solely focusing on preventing Ukraine from losing.