Biden urges Congress for urgent aid to Ukraine amid funding crisis

US President Joe Biden | Credits: Getty Images
US President Joe Biden | Credits: Getty Images

United States: On Monday, the Biden Administration called upon Congress to approve military and economic aid for Ukraine amounting to tens of billions of dollars. US officials have expressed concern that if this assistance is not sanctioned, Russia’s defensive efforts against the ongoing Russian attack may come to a standstill, as reported by the Associated Press.

Shalanda Young, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, penned a letter to both the House and Senate, subsequently released publicly. In the letter, she emphasized that the United States would only have funding until the year’s end, warning that a lack of approval “would kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield.”

Shalanda Young, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget | Credits: Getty Images

Young further stated that the funds the United States had reserved to support Ukraine’s economy had already been depleted. If Ukraine’s economy collapses, she cautioned, they would be unable to sustain the fight. “We are out of money — and nearly out of time,” she added, according to AP reports.

Biden’s aid package for Ukraine and Israel, totaling around US$106 billion, has faced challenges on Capitol Hill. There is growing skepticism about the level of support for Ukraine, with even supportive Republicans seeking changes to US-Mexico border policies as a condition for assistance.

While the aid package for Israel has been passed by House Republicans, the White House has insisted on meeting all priorities. Congress had allocated approximately US$111 billion, including US$10 billion for humanitarian aid, US$27 billion for economic and civil assistance, and the remaining US$67 billion for military aid.

White House

Young’s letter revealed that all allocated funds were exhausted by mid-November, except for 3 percent of the military funding.

Acknowledging the urgency, the Biden Administration recently conveyed that the disbursement of funds and assistance to Ukraine has slowed down until Congress approves additional funding. Young’s letter emphasized, “We are out of money to support Ukraine in this fight. This isn’t a problem next year. The time to help a democratic Ukraine fight against Russian aggression is right now. It is time for Congress to act.”

The letter followed a confidential briefing on November 29 on Capitol Hill, where key leaders were apprised of the urgent need for assistance. During this briefing, top Defense and national security officials updated the congressional leaders known as the “big four.” This occurred amid ongoing discussions in Congress about President Joe Biden‘s comprehensive funding package, facing complications due to Republican demands for changes in US-Mexico border security.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized the critical need for aid, stating, “It is clear that Ukraine needs the aid soon — and so does our military need the aid soon.”