White House Budget Director Shalanda Young, in a letter outlining the emergency request on Thursday, called on Congress to “address these critical and urgent needs” under the catch-all spending agenda that leaders are trying to adopt before the March 11 government shutdown deadline.
Leading appropriations lawmakers are aiming to unveil the text of the bill in the coming days, and House Democrats plan to pass the sweeping spending legislation on Tuesday, sending it to the Senate well ahead of funding. of the government is exhausted.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Wednesday that lawmakers had “made some inroads” in endgame negotiations on the package but were “still trying to resolve all the hurdles between us” in the race to produce the text of the draft bill. law early next week.
“Until it’s sealed, nothing’s sealed,” said Shelby, who is his party’s chief ownership officer in the Senate. “We need to close the deal.”
Emergency aid to Ukraine could either be sewn directly into the package or “executed simultaneously” as a separate bill passed alongside the broader funding measure, Shelby said.
The White House’s updated request for Ukraine includes $4.8 billion for the Pentagon, including $1.8 billion to cover the cost of deploying thousands of US troops to Europe to reassure countries in the NATO on the outskirts of Russia. Another $1.3 billion would go to cyber operations and $1.75 billion would allow the Pentagon to replenish stockpiles of weapons and equipment that have been shipped to Ukraine.
Another $5 billion would go to the State Department and the US Agency for International Development for security, humanitarian and economic assistance. Smaller amounts would be dedicated to the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Justice and Treasury.
Still, the White House expects more money to be needed as the Ukraine crisis unfolds. Young told lawmakers she expects “additional needs may arise over time” given the “rapidly evolving” situation in Ukraine.