Biden administration asks Congress for a new $13 billion aid package for Ukraine


On August 10, 2023, the Biden administration urged the American Congress to allocate over $13 billion in emergency aid to the defense of Ukraine, with an additional $8 billion dedicated to humanitarian support for the remainder of the year. This financial injection comes as the Russian invasion continues, and the Ukrainian counter-offensive faces challenges.
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Flag of Ukraine and Flag of United States (Picture source: Ukrainian MoD)


This $13 billion package includes $12 billion to replenish U.S. federal disaster funds following a climatic season marked by heatwaves and storms. Additionally, funds are allocated to strengthen controls at the southern border with Mexico, specifically addressing the issue of deadly fentanyl trafficking. Therefore, this amount will not be entirely directed to Ukraine.

In contrast to previous requests, this funding request faces a more complex political landscape. The Republican-led House of Representatives is under pressure to show support for their former leader, ex-President Donald Trump, who has been skeptical of the war.

The $40 billion price tag could be a challenge for Republicans seeking to reduce federal spending rather than increase it. The additional demand falls outside the budget caps agreed upon by both parties earlier in the year during the debt crisis.

The Biden administration's commitment to supporting Ukraine is evident, with President Biden and his national security team reiterating that the United States will support Ukraine in its efforts to repel Russian forces. Nonetheless, concerns persist regarding the costs, not only in financial terms but also in terms of lives, especially if Russia advances further into Ukraine.

Public support in the United States for providing weapons and economic assistance to Ukraine has diminished over time, according to polls. The request also includes funds to counter Russian and Chinese influence in other regions, deal with forest fires, manage the southern border, and combat the deadly fentanyl flow. It provides funds to investigate alleged child labor violations.

To ensure its approval, Congress will likely need to attach this package to a broader government funding measure needed by October 1st, thereby avoiding any federal office shutdowns. The U.S. has previously approved multiple cycles of aid to Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion, totaling around $113 billion. The most recent cycle, approved in December, allocated approximately $45 billion to Ukraine and NATO allies.

It remains to be seen what this new U.S. aid to Ukraine will consist of; discussions about American ATACMS missiles are still ongoing, and these missiles could be incorporated into this new package. The long-term U.S. support for Ukraine is also a point of consideration, as finances are not limitless, and the public is increasingly expressing discontent with these massive aids. Moreover, the presidential elections are not so far away, making public opinion more crucial than ever.