The Biden administration on Friday announced a $425 million aid package for Ukraine, including artillery rounds, small arms ammo, air defense munitions and cold weather gear.
According to the Pentagon, $300 million in the package will come from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), a Defense Department-led funding program established in March 2022, in the days shortly after Russia invaded its sovereign neighbor. Under the USAI, the government buys weapons systems from the defense industry before delivering them to Ukraine.
The remaining $125 million will be pulled directly from defense stocks.
The new package was announced as the U.S. is running out of available funds to send to Ukraine while Congress has stalled on passing another round of assistance.
Despite the Biden Administration’s request for a sweeping $106 billion package to aid both Ukraine and Israel, as well as to beef up enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has voiced a preference to separate aid to the two U.S. allies as a growing number of Republican lawmakers are expressing opposition to further assisting Ukraine in its war against Russia.
However, a GOP-led House bill to send $14.3 billion in aid to Israel for its war against Hamas, which passed Thursday night along partisan lines, is destined to be rejected by the Democratic-led Senate, and President Biden has vowed to veto if it does reach his desk.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the measure, which would tie military aid to Israel with cuts in spending at the IRS, “stunningly unserious,” while the White House said it “fails to meet the urgency of the moment,” adding that tying emergency funds to spending cuts would set a dangerous precedent.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said on Friday that it “continues to call on Congress to meet its commitment to the people of Ukraine by passing additional funding to ensure Ukraine has what it needs to defend itself against Russia’s brutal war of choice.”