White House points to defense spending in states in new plea for Ukraine aid

The Biden administration is warning Congress that without more
funding for Ukraine, the United States will no longer be able to provide
that country with military assistance — and emphasizing the multiple
states from Arkansas to Michigan to Pennsylvania where businesses
already have benefited from earlier aid.

Cutting off U.S. funding would not only weaken Ukraine’s ability to
stave off Russia’s invasion, but impact defense manufacturing throughout
America, which has seen billions more to build weapons.

“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 U.S. military stocks,” White
House budget director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to congressional
leaders.

“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment,” Young added. “We are out of money — and nearly out of time.”

In the two-page letter,
Young emphasized that the billions of dollars Congress has already
provided for Ukraine have bolstered the United States’ defense
industrial base.

The supplemental spending request that President Joe Biden sent to Congress in October would provide another $50 billion to those manufacturers.

“While we cannot predict exactly which U.S. companies will be awarded
new contracts, we do know the funding will be used to acquire advanced
capabilities to defend against attacks on civilians in Israel and
Ukraine — for example, air defense systems built in Alabama, Texas, and
Georgia and vital subcomponents sourced from nearly all 50 states,”
Young wrote.

The funding would also “modernize vital munitions and equipment like
Javelins made in Alabama; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS)
made in West Virginia, Arkansas and Texas; tactical vehicles made in
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana; and 155mm artillery
shells made in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Iowa and many other states,”
she wrote.

Funding request stalled

The Biden administration in October asked Congress to provide more
than $105 billion in funding for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and U.S. border
security.

Those negotiations have been stalled as a small, bipartisan group of senators attempted to find bipartisan agreement on border security. Democrats are also split on whether to set conditions on additional aid to Israel.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, has
repeatedly warned against tying aid to Ukraine and Israel to immigration
policy changes.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican,
has said several times that funding in the national security
supplemental package must include changes to U.S. immigration policy.

Schumer has said the Senate will vote on a package this week, though
without the support of Republicans, the bill likely won’t get past the
legislative filibuster, which requires at least 60 senators to advance
the bill to final passage.

Young wrote in her letter that “helping Ukraine defend itself and
secure its future as a sovereign, democratic, independent, and
prosperous nation advances our national security interests.”

“It prevents larger conflict in the region that could involve NATO
and put U.S. forces in harm’s way and deters future aggression, making
us all safer.”