Biden asks Congress for $40 billion in emergency funding, mostly for Ukraine

Biden asks Congress for $40 billion in emergency funding, mostly for Ukraine

Request includes $24 billion for Ukraine aid, $12 billion for disaster response

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden appealed Thursday to Congress for an additional $40 billion to fund ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine against Russia's war, ensure disaster relief efforts continue, and crack down on fentanyl trafficking.

The supplemental request was made in a letter from Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in which the senior Biden administration official said the emergency funding is needed to fund "three sets of critical needs."

"I urge the Congress to take swift action to provide the additional funding requested to follow-through on our commitment to the Ukrainian peoples' defense of their homeland and to democracy around the world; to address the shortfall for disaster response and adequately support our wildland firefighters; and to combat fentanyl smuggling and continue our progress in responding to the humanitarian and border security situation at the United States southwest border," wrote Young.

The majority of the funding, $24 billion, is being earmarked for Ukraine aid while $12 billion would go toward replenishing a badly depleted disaster response fund, and ensuring firefighters do not receive pay cuts slated to be enacted in October.

The remaining $4 billion being sought by Biden would be used to fund border and migration efforts.

The request is sure to be staunchly rebuffed by many Republicans.

"The answer needs to be NO!" far-right Representative Lauren Boebert said on X, formerly known as Twitter before the request was formally made. "We’ve done more than enough and none of this money is even being audited."

Addressing reporters Wednesday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby was confident that Congress would continue to fund the effort in Ukraine.

"This is a fight that's much bigger than just about Ukrainian sovereignty, though it is first and foremost about that," he said.

"The President will continue to make the case that the greater national security obligations are at play here, including our national security and the national security commitments that we have made through the NATO alliance. All of that is potentially at stake here," he added.

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