White House seeks $6.4B from Congress in Ukraine-related aid
The White House is asking Congress to approve $6.4 billion in additional funding to help respond to the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine, two sources confirmed to The Hill.
The request includes $2.9 billion for State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development for humanitarian assistance as well as security assistance to Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states and allies on NATO’s eastern flank, according to a Biden administration official.
The Biden administration is also asking Congress for $3.5 billion in additional funding for the Pentagon, according to the official.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday told reporters that officials with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) were in touch with Congress about additional assistance as it relates to Ukraine.
An OMB official told The Hill the administration made the request during a recent conversation with lawmakers.
“As the President and bipartisan members of Congress have made clear, the United States is committed to supporting the Ukrainian people as they defend their country and democracy,” the OMB official said.
“In a recent conversation with lawmakers, the Administration identified the need for additional U.S. humanitarian, security, and economic assistance to Ukraine and Central European partners due to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion,” the official said. “The Administration will continue to closely coordinate with our European allies and partners to assess on-the-ground needs, and remain in close touch with Congress as these needs evolve.”
A congressional leadership aide told The Hill that lawmakers are eyeing attaching a Ukraine assistance package and additional coronavirus relief to the omnibus appropriations bill. The current stopgap budget bill funds the government through March 11.
Lawmakers have been advocating for additional assistance to Ukraine in light of the Russian invasion this week.
The House and Senate are on recess but return to Washington next week.
The administration has already committed $650 million in security assistance and $52 million in humanitarian aid for Ukraine this year.
Jordain Carney contributed.