Biden Announces Another $200M In Additional Military Aid For Ukraine

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President Joe Biden announced $200 million in pre-approved aid for Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with him at the White House on Tuesday.

Biden used the “drawdown” provision in the Foreign Assistance Act that allows him to provide Defense Department stockpiles to countries without approval from congress.

The $200 million package is the 53rd such drawdown package provided to Ukraine since March 2022 and is in addition to the billions of dollars in aid that was already authorized by Congress.

Sputnik reports: US President Joe Biden announced during a Tuesday joint meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he has “just signed another $200 million drawdown” from the Pentagon for Ukraine.

The announcement comes as Congress remains deadlocked on authorizing more aid to Ukraine. Biden has asked Congress to provide $60 billion in aid to Ukraine in a funding package that also includes aid for Israel and money to secure the southern US border.

However, some Republicans have asked for more concessions on the border, including changes to the asylum system, a non-starter for many Democrats, in exchange for increased funding in Ukraine. The House of Representatives also passed a standalone aid bill for Israel, which the Senate has refused to consider.

Zelensky visited Washington in what has been described by US media as a “last-ditch effort” to convince Congress to authorize more aid to his country. Part of that visit included separate meetings with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Both Johnson and Schumer said their meetings with Zelensky went well but had different opinions on the details of their meetings.

Johnson criticized the Biden administration for not articulating how Ukraine can win against Russia. “The Biden administration appears to be asking for billions of dollars without specifics, without a clear strategy for winning, and without the answers I think the American people deserve,” he said at a news conference following his meeting with Zelensky.

Meanwhile, Schumer, who has been extremely hawkish on Ukraine since the start of the special military operation, claimed that Zelensky explained Ukraine’s path to victory to him.

“He [Zelensky] described in detail what kind of help was needed and how it would help win. Even many of our Republican politicians were saying that we were winning this war,” Schumer claimed

Schumer said he called Johnson and asked him to keep the House open after this week so the $61 billion aid package can be approved.”Last night, I spoke with Speaker Johnson and urged him to keep the House in session a little longer to give the supplemental a chance to come together,” Schumer said at a briefing.

The much smaller aid package announced by Biden on Tuesday uses an authorization provided in the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) which allows the president to provide foreign aid using stocks the Defense Department has on hand without congressional approval.

This latest drawdown is at least the 53rd drawdown ordered by the Biden administration since the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.

The last drawdown, costing $175 million, was ordered by the Biden White House last week.

Niamh Harris
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