It was bound to happen eventually. The United States has sent its last pennies to Ukraine, and now Biden must wait for approval before throwing any more money into a war that has little to nothing to do with America.
Since Ukraine’s conflict with Russia first began in February 2022, the country has become the biggest recipient of United States foreign aid. Congress approved over $112 billion in funds to Ukraine at the start of the war for military support, humanitarian assistance, and a steady flow of finances.
Over the past two years, the Biden administration has supplied or committed to providing Ukraine with various defense capabilities, including anti-aircraft missiles, advanced radar and surveillance systems, and Abrams battle tanks. In July of this year, the administration agreed to give Ukraine cluster munitions, sparking controversy because of the potential risk of unintentional civilian injuries.
In late December, Biden announced the final authorized aid package to Ukraine, a $250 million spending spree to bolster the Ukrainian military. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the funding will be used for Ukraine to purchase arms and equipment, including ammunition and air defense systems.
The provision of this package represents the maximum extent of the U.S.’ capability to supply weapons to Ukraine without additional funding from Congress. The Biden administration has requested a supplemental package, seeking over $60 billion in additional aid for Ukraine. However, the progress of the legislation is currently halted as negotiators work to reach a compromise on border security and immigration policy—issues raised by Republicans as crucial elements of any deal.
Last week, the Biden administration emphasized that this package, the final one of 2023, would be the last one the U.S. could offer without approval from lawmakers. Mike McCord, the Defense Department comptroller, conveyed in a letter to Congress that “once these funds are obligated, the Department will have exhausted the funding available to us for security assistance to Ukraine.”
The most recent aid package fell under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which taps directly into U.S. stocks and enables swift shipment to Ukraine. The U.S. has depleted another crucial form of assistance, Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which empowered the Defense Department to engage arms manufacturers through contracts for Ukraine’s weapons.
Earlier in December, the Biden administration gave Ukraine two smaller aid packages of $200 million and $175 million.
The administration has consistently cautioned about its diminishing capacity to offer aid to Ukraine, leading the Pentagon to divide what limited funds remained into smaller aid packages. Secretary of State Blinken emphasized the urgent need for Congress to act promptly to “advance national security interests” by finding even more money to give Ukraine.
But America is tired of giving Ukraine money when its own citizens are in need. Securing the borders of a foreign country takes a backseat to securing borders a little closer to home. Predictably, support for sending more money to Ukraine follows party lines, with a December Pew Research poll revealing that 48% of Republicans and right-leaning Independents think enough is enough. Conversely, only 16% of Democrats and left-leaning individuals think the Biden administration is sending too much money overseas, and an astonishing one out of every four liberals don’t believe the administration is doing enough.
As Americans struggle with the financial burdens placed on them by the Biden presidency, it should be noted that in 2022, an aid package was given to Ukraine that went, in part, to boost the country’s pension system. Biden acknowledged that the money would “allow pensions and social support to be paid to the Ukrainian people so they have something in their pocket.”
Unfortunately, many Americans no longer have “something in their pocket,” thanks to disastrous economic policies forced on the nation by the Biden administration.
But now, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, warns that the country might need to delay payments to public servants and pensioners without additional aid. Svyrydenko voiced concerns that Ukraine’s economy will return to a “survival” mode without outside funding despite an estimated 4.5% GDP growth throughout 2023.
Ever helpful, the Biden administration is seeking an additional $61 billion for Ukraine. Conversely, it is seeking just $14.3 billion in Israeli aid. It’s almost like Biden has some financial obligation to Ukraine, right?