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Biden Administration Asks Congress to Approve Billions in Aid for Ukraine

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Since Russia invaded its neighbor on Feb. 24, the White House has been making plans to ask for aid to support Ukraine and its allies.

Now, as lawmakers get ready to vote on a spending bill that would keep the government running until September, the Biden administration is asking for $10 billion for that effort.

The White House had already requested $22.5 billion to address the COVID pandemic, The Hill reported.

Adding to that, the Biden administration has now officially asked Congress for an extra $10 billion.

This $10 billion would go toward humanitarian, economic and security assistance for Ukraine and those in Europe working to respond to the Russian attack.

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The grand total of $32.5 billion would be for what the White House said were two “urgent and immediate needs,” Reuters reported.

Lawmakers are set to vote on a new spending bill on March 8. Last month, Congress approved a stopgap funding bill that kept the government funded through March 11. So, if this new spending bill is not passed in a few days, large parts of the government could shut down, Reuters reported.

“I’ve urged us to get that done at the beginning of next week so the Senate can get that done prior to the 11th. We have to pass it by then,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.

Meanwhile, those at the White House are predicting that the continuing situation in Ukraine could require quite a bit of support from the U.S., which is why they need $10 billion ready.

Do you think Congress should approve this spending request?

“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, The Hill reported.

Before this additional request for $10 billion, the White House had already asked for $6.4 billion in funding to assist Ukraine. The administration requested that the day after Russia invaded, Axios reported.

$2.9 billion of that initial request would go to security assistance, humanitarian funding, economic needs, as well as being sent to aid Ukraine’s neighboring countries and allies.

$3.5 billion was for the Pentagon’s response to the crisis.

But as the White House increased its initial request, the funding would be more spread out to bolster support for Ukraine more widely, The Hill reported.

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The funding request outlined $4.8 billion for the Pentagon, which would then send military equipment to Ukraine and support U.S. troops deployed in NATO countries.

$5 billion would be for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for various security, humanitarian and economic funding for Ukraine and its allies.

$21 million would go to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security to control export restrictions and keep analyzing supply chain issues and Russian economic weaknesses.

$59 million would go to the Justice Department to form a new task force to enforce sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

$91 million would go to the Treasury Department to help with the work on Russian sanctions.

On top of that funding request just for Ukraine-related issues, the other $22.5 billion requested by the White House would be for handling COVID here in the states and around the world, as Young laid out in the request.

“We are therefore urging Congress to promptly provide $22.5 billion to cover immediate needs for tests, treatments and vaccines, investments in research and development of next-generation vaccines, and responding globally, including getting more shots in arms around the world,” Young wrote, Reuters reported.

The American gross national debt already topped $30 trillion by the beginning of February, the New York Times reported.

The Times called this, “an ominous fiscal milestone that underscores the fragile nature of the country’s long-term economic health as it grapples with soaring prices and the prospect of higher interest rates.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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