The White House is facing a shortage of funds to support arms deliveries to Ukraine, according to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. She has called on Congress to approve President Joe Biden’s request for additional aid, which has been met with opposition from Republicans. Speaking on Air Force One, Jean-Pierre revealed that the Pentagon has announced new arms deliveries for Ukraine, totaling $425 million. This package includes HIMARS and NASAMS missiles, artillery rounds, and other military equipment.
Out of the $425 million, $300 million comes from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which the Pentagon utilizes to procure new equipment for Kiev. The remaining $125 million is sourced from the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), allowing the Biden administration to transfer weapons from US stocks in case of emergencies without congressional approval.
Jean-Pierre emphasized that this package exhausts the remaining available funds through the USAI for Ukraine. However, she reassured that the White House still retains PDA authorities to fulfill Ukraine’s immediate battlefield needs. In order to prolong the support for Ukraine as much as possible, the US is planning to provide smaller PDA packages to Kiev.
To address the funding shortfall, Jean-Pierre called on Congress to approve Biden’s supplemental aid request. She believes that this move will send a significant message to the world, signaling the US’ unwavering support for Ukraine. However, some Republicans have opposed providing aid to Ukraine. They argue that Biden lacks a strategic vision for the conflict and insist on more accountability. Additionally, they have suggested separating the issues of aid to Israel and Ukraine.
In response to the ongoing discussions, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives recently passed a bill to aid Israel in its conflict with Hamas. Democrats strongly opposed the bill, accusing their Republican colleagues of politicizing the issue. The legislation also included a provision to defund the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which was a non-starter for Democrats.
The newly installed House speaker, Mike Johnson, is yet to reveal his plans for Ukraine funding. However, he has pledged that the relevant discussions will take place soon.
Meanwhile, Russia has consistently warned against the West’s decision to send weapons to Ukraine. Russia argues that such actions only prolong the conflict and effectively make the West a direct participant in the hostilities.
In conclusion, the White House is facing a funding shortage for arms deliveries to Ukraine. The Pentagon has announced a new package worth $425 million, which will exhaust the remaining funds available through the USAI. To sustain support for Ukraine, the US plans to provide smaller PDA packages. However, the approval of Biden’s supplemental aid request by Congress is crucial to ensure continued assistance to Ukraine. Republicans have expressed concerns regarding aid to Ukraine but have also pushed for separating the issues of aid to Ukraine and Israel. The House of Representatives recently passed a bill aiding Israel, but Democrats opposed it due to unrelated provisions. The newly appointed House speaker is expected to address Ukraine funding in the near future, while Russia has warned against the West’s involvement in the conflict.