White House Tells Congress It’s Running Out of Money to Fund Ukraine War

The Biden administration wants another $61 billion to spend on the war

The White House has sent a letter to congressional leaders warning that it’s running out of money to fund the proxy war in Ukraine and pleading for Congress to authorize more spending.

“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 US military stocks,” wrote Shalanda D. Young, the head of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. “There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money — and nearly out of time.”

According to Young, Congress has authorized $111 billion to spend on the war since the Russian invasion, but the vast majority of the funding has been used up.

“As of mid-November, DOD has used 97 percent of the $62.3 billion it received, and State has used 100 percent of the $4.7 billion in military assistance it received. Approximately $27.2 billion, or 24 percent, has been used for economic assistance and civilian security assistance (such as demining) to Ukraine, which is just as essential to Ukraine’s survival as military assistance. State and USAID have used 100 percent of this amount,” she said.

Based on recent comments from Pentagon officials, the Biden administration still has a few billion to ship weapons to Ukraine directly from US military stockpiles, part of $6 billion that became available due to a so-called “accounting error” that overvalued earlier arms shipments. But Young said the US has had to limit the weapons packages it’s been sending Ukraine.

“Already, our packages of security assistance have become smaller and the deliveries of aid have become more limited. If our assistance stops, it will cause significant issues for Ukraine. While our allies around the world have stepped up to do more, US support is critical and cannot be replicated by others,” she said.

The administration has been arguing that funding the war in Ukraine is beneficial to the US “Defense Industrial Base,” which Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) pointed out is another term for the Military Industrial Complex.

“The President’s most recent national security supplemental request will build on our 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,” Young wrote in the letter.

President Biden has asked Congress to authorize about $61 billion in additional funding for Ukraine as part of a massive $106 billion spending bill, which also includes military aid for Israel and Taiwan and spending on border security. Biden requested the funds in October, but Congress has yet to approve it as Republicans are looking to separate aid to Israel and want more concessions on border issues.

The idea of the $61 billion is to fund the proxy war for another year despite it being clear that Ukraine has no chance of winning the war or driving Russia out of the Ukrainian territory it has captured.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.