President Biden said this week that the passing of a short funding bill was “good news,” but he didn’t like that it didn’t include any money for Ukraine.
“Under absolutely no circumstances can we allow the United States’ support for Ukraine to be discontinued,” stated Biden in formal remarks.
He then said:
“The Speaker and the vast majority of Congress have always stood by Ukraine, but this agreement does not include any new money to keep that support going.”
“I am sure that the Speaker will keep his promise to the people of Ukraine and get the help that Ukraine needs at this very important time.”
A continuing resolution, which is a short-term fix, was passed by the House on the last day of the old fiscal year.
For now, the CR keeps the government’s funding at the same level as in 2023. It also gives the House 45 days to approve spending bills for 2024.
For conservatives who are against increasing aid to Ukraine, the CR’s exclusion of that funding was a win. The U.S. has agreed to send $113 billion since February of last year. The Biden government wants an extra $24 billion, which would bring the overall amount to $135 billion. That money would last until the end of 2023, and it doesn’t cover any claims for 2024.
Lloyd Austin, who was Biden’s defense secretary, also asked Congress to give Ukraine more help.
“I am glad that Congress took action tonight to avoid an unneeded and harmful government shutdown that would’ve had a huge effect on the lives of both our soldiers and civilians who serve and sacrifice every day to protect this country. Additionally, I ask Congress to keep the promise made by the United States to help the people of Ukraine as they fight to protect their country from tyrannical forces.” In a statement, he stated, “America must keep its word and keep on leading.”