US Account for Aid to Ukraine Running Out

Administration appears in no hurry to seek more money, but backers don't want interruptions
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2023 5:15 PM CDT
As Ukraine Funding Runs Low, No One is Sure What's Next
155 mm M795 artillery projectiles are stored during the manufacturing process at the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant in Scranton, Pa., last month.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The $48 billion kitty that Congress approved in December for aid to Ukraine is running low, and supporters on Capitol Hill are unclear what the Biden administration plans to do about it. Their concerns include when the president will ask for another round of funding and whether it will be sufficient, Politico reports. With Ukraine still planning a spring counteroffensive, they want there to be no interruption in the flow of money and weapons. "It is critical that the administration provide Ukraine with what it needs in time to defend and take back its sovereign territory," Republican Sen. Susan Collins told Pentagon leaders in a hearing. "We expect the administration not to wait until the eleventh hour if the Ukrainians need more before the end of the fiscal year."

But White House officials said this week they don't plan to ask for more money before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, believing they have enough resources for now, per CNN. Congressional staff members said they count differently and worry that the administration is delaying decisions to see whether the offensive is successful. Once the White House comes up with proposal, it could run into GOP opposition; Republicans didn't control the House during the last round. It could also become ensnarled in the ongoing standoff on the debt ceiling. They're a minority, but there are Republicans in Congress talking about cutting the aid.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said they won't be a problem. "Although there are dissenting voices, the large majority of certainly Republicans—for sure in the Senate and arguably in the House as well—believe strongly that we need Ukraine to win," he said. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed that. "I do think that we have enough support within Congress to sustain this for a good deal longer," he said, per the Hill. "All the leadership in the House and Senate in my party is very much in favor of defeating the Russians." (It helps that the Pentagon came across another $3 billion.)

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