Congressional Democrats drafted a plan to raise President Biden’s $33 billion aid request for Ukraine to $39.8 billion, which the House could pass as soon as Tuesday.
Biden’s $33 billion request included $20.4 billion for military aid. According to Bloomberg, Congress is adding $3.4 billion in military aid and $3.4 billion in humanitarian assistance.
Democrats initially wanted to include the Ukraine aid with additional COVID-19 funding, but Biden told lawmakers to separate the two packages. “We cannot afford delay in this vital war effort. Hence, I am prepared to accept that these two measures move separately so that the Ukrainian aid bill can get to my desk right away,” he said in a statement Monday.
Giving aid to Ukraine has strong bipartisan support in Congress, but Republicans have yet to sign on to the Democrats’ plan since they are seeking a larger increase. Republicans want to add $8 billion, while the draft plan drawn up by Democrats increased the aid by about $6.8 billion.
If the $39.8 billion plan is passed, it will bring total US aid for Ukraine in 2022 alone to over $53 billion. To put the enormous figure into perspective, Russia’s entire military budget for 2021 was estimated to be about $65.9 billion.