Biden seeks nearly $40 billion in funding for Ukraine, disaster relief and border

US President Joe Biden speaks on how “Bidenomics” is helping clean energy and manufacturing, at Arcosa Wind Towers in Belen, New Mexico, on August 9, 2023. 

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON  The White House unveiled a nearly $40 billion funding request on Thursday for aid to Ukraine, addressing natural disasters, including wildland firefighter pay and border management.

The White House is seeking $12 billion for ongoing disaster relief, $60 million in wildland firefighter pay to cover pay increases and $3.9 billion to address border and migration issues.

“With the end of the fiscal year quickly approaching, today, the Administration is transmitting a supplemental funding request to the Congress to address three sets of critical needs for emergency funding,” OMB Director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy dated Thursday.

Biden’s request also seeks over $24 billion in additional funding for Ukraine’s slow-moving fight against Russia.

In the nearly 18 months since Russian troops poured over Ukrainian borders, the U.S. has unleashed a war chest worth more than $43 billion to bolster Kyiv’s arsenal.

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Ukrainian soldier with call-sign Ryba, which means “fish” in English, stands on the vehicle with a homemade four-tube multiple rocket launcher n Kryvyi Rih on September 28, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Genya Savilov | Afp | Getty Images

“For people that might be concerned that the costs financially are getting too high, you know, we would ask them to consider what those costs — not just in treasure but in blood, perhaps even American blood — if Putin subjugates Ukraine and then sets his sights on our NATO allies,” Kirby said in a Wednesday teleconference with reporters.

“If we just sit back and let Putin win, if we let him take Ukraine, where does it stop next?”

“We have seen throughout this war solid support from the American people, solid support from the Congress in a bipartisan and a bicameral way, for continuing to support Ukraine, and we’re going to stay focused on that,” Kirby added.

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