White House seeks $37.7 billion in funding for Ukraine, $10 billion for Covid

White House seeks $37.7 billion in funding for Ukraine, $10 billion for Covid

U.S. Army soldiers assigned to the 82nd Airborne carry military equipment as they participate in an exercise outside the Arlamow Airport Operating Base March 7, 2022 in Wola Korzeniecka, Poland .

Omar Brands | Getty Images

The White House is asking nearly $40 billion in new funds from Congress to support Ukraine and another $10 billion for pandemic relief.

This figure includes $21.7 billion for defense purposes such as equipment and military support, $14.5 billion in direct funding for the country’s government and humanitarian assistance, $626 million in aid energy and $900 million for health care.

“Since the start of Putin’s war, the United States has rallied the world in support of Ukraine,” Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to the president. House, Nancy Pelosi, requesting the funds. “Together, with strong, bipartisan support in Congress, we have provided significant assistance that has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield – and we cannot let that support dry up.”

About three-quarters of the funding previously approved by Congress has already been spent and more is expected to be used before the end of the year, according to administration officials. The amount includes funding to address energy and food shortages as a result of the war.

Ahead of the midterm elections, Republicans in Congress suggested aid to Ukraine could be cut if they win a majority. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to become president if Republicans regain the House of Representatives as planned, said last month that funding for Ukraine could be cut if he is in the majority. Other House Republicans, such as Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, said earlier this month “not a penny more will go to Ukraine” under Republican leadership.

President Joe Biden criticized the suggestion.

“These guys don’t understand. It’s a lot bigger than Ukraine,” Biden said in response to McCarthy’s remarks last month. “It’s Eastern Europe. It’s NATO. It’s really serious, serious consistent results.”

The official funding request also includes $9.25 billion for Covid-19 relief and $750 million to fight other infectious diseases. The White House is asking for $2.5 billion for Covid-19 vaccine access and replenishment of the national strategic stockpile, $5 billion for continued vaccine development, $750 million for long Covid research and $1 billion for international aid to fight the virus.

Administration officials argue the funding is needed to prevent a potential spike in cases this winter.

“Failure to provide more funding would lead to unnecessary infections and deaths across the country and around the world,” Young warned.

The White House also requested an unspecified amount for natural disaster relief to help Florida and Puerto Rico rebuild after Hurricanes Ian and Fiona.

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