Biden asks Congress for $33 billion in aid for Ukraine as war drags on: NPR

President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House earlier this month.

Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images

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Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House earlier this month.

Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is asking Congress for $33 billion in funding in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than double the $14 billion in assistance authorized so far, senior administration officials said. told reporters during a briefing Thursday morning ahead of President Biden’s remarks about adding additional help.

The money is expected to last through the end of the fiscal year on September 30 and provide Ukraine with a more sustainable guarantee of support as the war drags on.

“This war could last months or more. This conflict will continue to test our unity and our collective determination to give Ukraine what it needs to succeed.” a senior administration official said. The official added, “We expect that our partners and allies, particularly the G7 and many others, will continue to provide comparable levels of assistance in the future.”

Much of the request is for military and security assistance, totaling $20 billion to supply Ukraine with weapons, replenish the US stockpile of weapons, and help other countries break free of their dependence on Russian weapons. , the official said.

An additional $8.5 billion is being requested in economic assistance to the Ukrainian government and another $3 billion for humanitarian funding and food security, including assisting refugees from Ukraine and other countries. receiving them.

Officials said they are also requesting funds to address global economic tensions caused by the war, in part to increase US wheat and soybean production, as well as to use the Defense Production Act to expanding reserves of important minerals needed in the production of defense machinery. , cars and more.

Congress won’t be able to act immediately to pass the funding because the House is leaving for a week-long recess. There have been deliberations about whether to tie Ukraine’s funding to the COVID aid the White House has requested, and have stalled.

“It certainly makes sense for them to move together,” one official said, adding that Biden would address the need for both funding groups in his remarks. Pentagon leaders in recent days have urged Congress to move immediately on funding, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters on Thursday. Tu said he would support the delivery of Ukraine aid independent of the COVID package if it meant avoiding delays. . COVID aid has been entangled in disagreements between the parties, including over the expansion of pandemic border control measures under Title 42.

In remarks scheduled for 10:45 a.m. ET, Biden will also address an earlier announcement calling for Congress to pass legislation that would make it easier to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs.

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