Biden asks Congress for $24bn for Ukraine
US president Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve about USD 40 billion in additional spending, including USD 24 billion for Ukraine, Reuters reports.
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The request, although large, covers only the first quarter of the current 2024 fiscal year, that is, October through December, and the White House hopes to seal the deal with Congress.
Mr Biden’s request to Congress may face opposition from some far-right Republicans, especially those with close ties to former president Donald Trump, willing to cut the aid Washington has sent to Kyiv since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February.
Mr Trump is the front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, and has been a vocal critic of US military support for Ukraine. 70 House Republicans in July backed an unsuccessful proposal to cut funding for Ukraine.
Mr Biden asked Congress to approve additional spending of about USD 40 billion, including USD 24 billion for Ukraine and other international needs, USD 4 billion for border security, and USD 12 billion for disaster relief.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said that there is strong bipartisan support in the Democratic-led Senate to provide more to support Ukraine.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell strongly supported aid to Ukraine as well, saying that most of the money is spent in the United States and citing the importance of the democratic world uniting against aggression from Russia or China.
House speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, made it clear in June that any request for additional aid to Ukraine would face difficulties in Congress.
The last time the House and Senate approved USD 48bn in aid to the Ukrainian government was in December 2022, before Republicans took control of the House.