Additional Funding for Ukraine and Israel Urgently Needed – White House

Tuesday, 28 November 2023

The White House said that additional funding for Ukraine and Israel, as requested by President Joe Biden to Congress, is "desperately needed".

John Kirby, Strategic Communications Coordinator for the White House National Security Council, noted at a briefing that the priority level of adopting a package with the help for Ukraine and Israel is "very, very high."

"I would remind members of Congress as they come back to work that the figures in that supplemental request are well informed by our Ukrainian partners and our Israeli partners.  We didn’t just pull those figures out of thin air. It was very much in keeping with what our partners have told us they need for the coming months," John Kirby said.

He added that the financing situation is becoming more acute, especially concerning Ukraine: the assistance packages provided now from the United States have fewer funds.

"Because we just don't have the flexibility we once had in terms of the amount of aid that can be given in each and every package," John Kirby said.

According to John Kirby, "we are in a critical time" as winter is approaching, and it is increasingly difficult for the Ukrainian army to conduct its operations when the weather becomes less favourable.

"So, we — we hope that when Congress comes back to work, that they will — they will act with the same sense of alacrity that we’ve been trying to act in terms of getting that supplemental through," said the representative of the US presidential administration.

Earlier, Mike Johnson, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, said that he "is confident and optimistic" that the US Congress will be able to accept additional funds to help Israel and Ukraine before the holidays, but there is a condition.

The State Department is also optimistic regarding the prospects of approving a package of additional funding for Ukraine and other defence needs in Congress, where it has been stuck for almost two months.

In September, the White House asked Congress to approve a US$106 billion supplemental funding package that includes more than US$61 billion in funding for Ukraine, along with assistance to Israel and Taiwan and funding for border security. 

But the initiative was stalled by the opposition of far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives, whose new speaker, Mike Johnson, proposed splitting assistance to Ukraine and Israel.

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