The White House doesn’t care: There’s simply no more money for Ukraine. “There is no magic pot of funding,” Shalanda Young, the official in charge of budgets, warned in a letter to the US Congress on Monday. “We’re running out of money — and we’re running out of time.”
The United States has provided Ukraine with $111 billion in aid since the Russian invasion began in February 2022. Although President Joe Biden initially had little difficulty securing funding from Congress, this has become increasingly difficult in recent months. The Republican Party is deeply divided on this issue.
About the author
Thomas Roepe is the US correspondent for De Volkskrant. Lives in New York. He is the author of the book Laura H.
With this message, the White House is trying to increase pressure on the right. “This will not be a problem next year,” writes Administrator Young. According to her, the absence of funding for a longer period is a “penalty blow to Ukraine” where “Putin and the autocracy are winning.”
Conflict of interest
Support for Ukraine risks becoming entangled in a tangle of conflicting political interests in Washington, DC. Republicans say they would not consider renewing support unless it was accompanied by tougher domestic immigration policy, much against the desires of many Democrats.
In contrast, Democrats link additional military support for Israel, which enjoys consensus on the right, to their desires in Ukraine. They want to come up with both pieces at once, not separately. Inertia is the result.
“The Biden administration has failed to substantively address the legitimate concerns of my conference,” Republican Mike Johnson wrote Monday in response to the letter. As Speaker of the House, Johnson determines which proposals will be put to a vote there.
In the past, Johnson has been skeptical about Ukrainian support. As a member of Congress before his presidency, he voted against it twice. He has returned to that in recent days, but with conditions: “Any additional national security package must start at our borders.”
Good paying jobs
Democrats do not yet appear ready to accept this Republican request. They want to put a $106 billion aid package — earmarked for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan — to a vote in the Senate on Wednesday, where they have a majority. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is unlikely to later accept such a package, without border measures. As Republican Lindsey Graham put it on television: “I won’t help Ukraine before we help ourselves.”
In the urgent letter, the White House also makes arguments that will hopefully resonate better with Republicans: the domestic economy. About 60 percent of Ukrainian aid is ultimately spent on U.S. arms manufacturers and intelligence and defense services. Official Young says Ukraine’s support also helps the country.
“Air defenses built in Alabama, Texas, and Georgia and critical components sourced from nearly all 50 states,” the letter states. This “creates good-paying jobs in many states across the country,” Young wrote. This will not be enough to force Republicans to surrender.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned on Monday that “voting against additional funding to Ukraine will harm democracy and help tyrants.” “We don’t think this is the right lesson from history.”
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