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Biden will ask for another US$25 billion, including for Ukraine, but there are dissenters in Congress

Thursday, 10 August 2023, 19:13
Biden will ask for another US$25 billion, including for Ukraine, but there are dissenters in Congress

US President Joe Biden is planning to submit a request to Congress for additional funding of at least US$25 billion, including assistance for Ukraine.

Source: Bloomberg, citing sources, as European Pravda reports

Details: According to a Bloomberg source, Biden's additional request will include approximately US$12 billion for disaster relief and US$13 billion for defence, including assistance for Ukraine. The emergency funds will not be subject to budgetary limits.

This request was previously reported by Punchbowl News. 

It comes at a critical time for Ukraine, when the war with Russia has intensified. The Kremlin has multiplied attacks on shipping lanes and infrastructure in the Black Sea after pulling out of a grain deal, threatening key food supplies for much of the world.

Despite these conditions, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, under pressure from conservatives who oppose US involvement in the war, have been shying away from approving more assistance to Ukraine.

In December, Congress approved US$45 billion in additional funding for the military effort in Ukraine, which is to last through the end of this fiscal year, which ends on 30 September. This is in addition to the US$40 billion in May 2022 and US$13.6 billion in March 2022, bringing the total to US$98.6 billion to date.

The White House's request will make it more difficult for Congress to avoid a shutdown, a forced suspension of federal agencies, when funding runs out after 30 September.

Passage of the additional funding is said to be politically dangerous for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, given opposition from members of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, who oppose continuing funding for agencies at current levels.

This group is also sceptical about additional money for Ukraine, so combining the two issues could strengthen opposition. 

Some of these lawmakers may propose to remove McCarthy from the speaker's post if he pushes through a bill they find unacceptable.

Background: The administration of US President Joe Biden will submit a request to Congress on Thursday for additional funding to help Ukraine.

Earlier, some US presidential administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staff expressed concern that funds to support Ukraine could run out by mid-summer.

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the United States has allocated more than $66 billion in total aid to Kyiv.

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