US nearly out of money to help Ukraine, White House says

World Tuesday 05/December/2023 07:42 AM
By: DW
US nearly out of money to help Ukraine, White House says

New York: The United States is running out of time and money to help Ukraine fight back against the Russian invasion unless Congress can approve a new spending package, the White House said on Monday.

The Biden administration had asked Congress in October to approve a $106 billion (€98 billion) package to fund aid for Ukraine and Israel, as well as for border security, but it was voted down by the Republican-controlled House.

In a letter to Speaker of the House on Monday, President Joe Biden's budget director Shalanda Young said time was running out to help Ukraine.

"There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money — and nearly out of time," she wrote.

"I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine," she added.

"Cutting off the flow of US weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories."

The White House's national security spokesperson Jake Sullivan said Russia could gain an advantage if the package is not passed soon.

"Congress has to decide whether to continue to support the fight for freedom in Ukraine...or whether Congress will ignore the lessons we've learned from history and let Putin prevail," he told reporters at the White House.

"It is that simple. It is that stark a choice."

Republicans flag border policy

House speaker Mike Johnson gave the letter a cool response.

"The Biden administration has failed to substantively address any of my conference's legitimate concerns about the lack of a clear strategy in Ukraine, a path to resolving the conflict, or a plan for adequately ensuring accountability for aid provided by American taxpayers," Johnson said in a statement on social media.

He also said that any national security supplemental package "must begin with our own border."

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, claimed on Monday that both parties agree on funding for Ukraine and Israel and blamed the deadlock on border security.

Schumer said Republicans had "injected partisan and extreme immigration measures into the debate" such as "indefinite detention" of asylum seekers, a proposal that Democrats say goes too far.

Meanwhile, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said his party was "still at the table."