The request, transmitted on Nov. 15 via a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.),
“We must continue to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and stand resolute in the face of Russia’s brutal war,” White House Officer of Management and Budget Director, a Biden appointee, told Pelosi.
“Since the beginning of Putin’s war, the United States has rallied the world to support Ukraine. Together, with strong, bipartisan support in the Congress, we have provided significant assistance that has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield-and we cannot let that support run dry.”
Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Congress has already approved nearly $66 billion in total aid for Ukraine aid since March. The packages have included funding for arms, food, and resettlement.
The bulk of the new request is for defense aid, including equipment and training. The remaining portion is mostly for the government of Ukraine (GOU).
“This funding will help GOU maintain confidence in the domestic currency and financial system, maintain functionality as it defends itself against Russian aggression, support ongoing delivery of essential government services, and mitigate destabilizing inflationary pressures,” the Biden administration said.
The three initial packages have received strong bipartisan support, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in October that there shouldn’t be a “blank check” on funding for Ukraine, or anything else, noting the United States has a national debt of $31 trillion.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in Washington this week that he’s a “robust supporter of Ukraine” and “we need to get them what we need to continue to fight this war.”
“I think they have the capacity to win it, particularly if we give them what they need,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a separate briefing that he “would hope” the next funding bill includes fresh Ukraine aid, and that it would receive support from some Republicans.
Pelosi said in October that Congress would approve more funding for Ukraine.
“Congress has secured over $60 billion in security, economic, humanitarian and budget assistance for Ukraine,” Pelosi said during a summit in Croatia. “And more will be on the way when we pass our omnibus funding bill this fall.”
Some members of Congress have voiced opposition to any more funding, particularly after the missiles that struck Poland were likely fired by Ukraine, according to Polish authorities. U.S. authorities said Wednesday they had no evidence to challenge that.
“I’m glad Ukraine is defending their own country from Putin’s unjust invasion. Nevertheless, this is not America’s war to fight and it isn’t America’s war to fund,” Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) said in a statement.
“No more money to Ukraine. It’s time to end this war and demand peace,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) added.