The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is calling on congressional leadership to approve additional funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia, warning that there will be no money by the end of the year to support Ukraine without action from Congress.
Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young wrote a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.; House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stressing an “urgency” to pass more funding to supply weapons and equipment for Ukraine’s ongoing war that began in February 2022.
“I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks,” Young wrote. “There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money — and nearly out of time.”
Young said ending the supply of U.S. weapons and equipment to Ukraine will “kneecap” the eastern European country on the battlefield by risking the gains Ukraine has already made and raising the possibility of Russian military victories. She said U.S. packages of security assistance have become smaller and aid deliveries have become more limited.
“If our assistance stops, it will cause significant issues for Ukraine,” Young wrote. “While our allies around the world have stepped up to do more, U.S. support is critical and cannot be replicated by others.”
She continued: “To date, you have supported $111 billion in supplemental funding to support Ukraine and critical national security needs. Of that, $67 billion, approximately 60% of the Ukraine supplemental funding that Congress has previously authorized, has bolstered our [Defense Industrial Base] in America or supported [Department of Defense] and intelligence operations. That has improved our own military readiness since DOD is buying new equipment to replace what we are sending Ukraine, jumpstarting and expanding production lines, and is supporting good-paying jobs in dozens of states across the country.”
Young said that, as of mid-November, the DOD has used 97% of the $62.3 billion it received and the State Department has used the entirety of the $4.7 billion in military assistance it received. She added that roughly $27.2 billion, or 24%, of U.S. funding has been used for economic assistance and civilian security assistance to Ukraine, and that the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development have used all of these funds.
“If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting, full stop,” Young said. “[Russian President Vladimir Putin] understands this well, which is why Russia has made destroying Ukraine’s economy central to its strategy — which you can see in its attacks against Ukraine’s grain exports and energy infrastructure.”
The director said nearly $2.3 billion of the roughly $10 billion in emergency funding for State Department and USAID humanitarian assistance has gone directly toward humanitarian needs of people displaced by the war or vulnerable populations inside Ukraine while about $500 million went toward supporting refugees from Ukraine seeking safety in neighboring countries.
The remainder of the funding has supported the needs of vulnerable populations around the world who have fallen victim to Putin’s “use of food as a weapon in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the resulting impacts on global food security,” Young said, adding that this funding is now depleted.
Young said President Biden’s most recent national security supplemental request will build on the Office of Management and Budget’s “successful efforts to date and will direct over $50 billion into our nation’s DIB, which builds on the funding that has already been invested in manufacturing lines across 35 states.”
The funding will be used to acquire advanced capabilities to defend against attacks on civilians in Israel amid its war against Hamas terrorists, and Ukraine, including air defense systems built in Alabama, Texas and Georgia and vital subcomponents from nearly every state.
“I must stress that helping Ukraine defend itself and secure its future as a sovereign, democratic, independent, and prosperous nation advances our national security interests,” Young said. “It prevents larger conflict in the region that could involve NATO and put U.S. forces in harm’s way and deters future aggression, making us all safer. As President Biden has said, when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they will cause more chaos and death and destruction. They just keep on going, and the cost and the threats to America and to the world will keep rising. The path that Congress chooses will reverberate for many years to come.”
“We are out of money to support Ukraine in this fight. This isn’t a next year problem. The time to help a democratic Ukraine fight against Russian aggression is right now. It is time for Congress to act,” she concluded.