White House asks Congress to approve additional $10B in Ukraine-related aid
The White House on Wednesday formally asked Congress to authorize $10 billion in additional humanitarian, economic and security assistance for Ukraine and allies in central Europe to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The White House stressed that the request is meant to address the immediate, short-term needs related to the crisis in Europe caused by Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, which began last week.
“Given the rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine, I anticipate that additional needs may arise over time,” White House Office of Management and Budget acting Director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dated March 2 outlining the request.
“This funding request is based on the Administration’s best information on resource requirements at this time, and we will remain in touch with the Congress in the coming weeks and months as we assess resource requirements beyond these immediate needs,” she wrote.
Young asked that the funding be authorized as part of an appropriations bill that Congress is expected to approve before a March 11 deadline to fund the government.
Democrats and Republicans have signaled support for additional assistance for Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion. As of Friday, the White House was eyeing $6.4 billion in additional funding for Ukraine, but that figure increased this week.
The letter breaks down the funding request. It asks for $4.8 billion for the Pentagon to support U.S. troop deployments to NATO countries and to provide additional military equipment to Ukraine.
The Biden administration is asking for $5 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for security, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and allies on NATO’s eastern flank. Of that funding, $2.75 billion would go towards humanitarian assistance to provide food and support for Ukrainians displaced by the conflict.
The United Nations refugee agency said late Wednesday that 1 million refugees have fled from Ukraine since Russia launched a broad invasion of Ukraine one week ago.
Additionally, the White House is also asking for $21 million in additional funding for the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security to increase enforcement of export control restrictions imposed on Russia and analyze Russian economic vulnerabilities and any U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities.
The request also includes $59 million for a new Justice Department task force to enforce sanctions on Russian oligarchs and $91 million for the Treasury Department to bolster the agency’s work on the sanctions.
Finally, $30 million would go to the Energy Department to support the integration of Ukraine’s electric grid with the European Union’s own network.
“These resources will mean additional military equipment for Ukraine, lifesaving humanitarian assistance — such as emergency food assistance — for the Ukrainian people, stronger sanctions enforcement, a dedicated task force within the Department of Justice to go after the ill-gotten gains and other illicit activities of the Russian oligarchs, and additional support for U.S troop deployments to neighboring countries,” Young wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
“Resources will also bolster regional efforts to counter Russian cyberattacks and disinformation, and strengthen the stability of Ukraine’s electrical grid by integrating it with the European Network of Transmission System of Operators,” she wrote.
The White House supplemental funding request also includes an additional $22.5 billion to address the COVID-19 pandemic, an ask that will be a tougher sell among Republicans who have resisted new funding to support the government’s virus response.
–Updated at 9:40 a.m.