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Biden administration to send Ukraine last batch of aid as US depletes available funds

The Biden administration announced it will send $250 million to Ukraine to aid in its continued war against Russia that began in February 2022. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State said the package would mark the final distribution of assistance to the Eastern European nation without lawmakers’ approval. 

“A coalition of more than 50 countries continues to provide critical support for Ukraine’s forces,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “It is imperative that Congress act swiftly, as soon as possible, to advance our national security interests by helping Ukraine defend itself and secure its future.”

The administration has been pressing Congress to approve the multibillion-dollar national security supplemental package initially requested in October. However, Republican lawmakers have linked the $60 billion additional aid to Ukraine with changes in border security policies as a prerequisite for its passage.

SCHUMER AND MCCONNELL VOW TO TAKE ‘SWIFT ACTION’ ON SUPPLEMENTAL PACKAGE EARLY NEXT YEAR

The package provides military equipment like air defense weapons, artillery ammo, anti-armor gear, and over 15 million rounds of ammunition.

“Once these funds are obligated, the Department will have exhausted the funding available to us for security assistance to Ukraine,” Defense Department comptroller Mike McCord wrote in a letter, first obtained by Bloomberg News, to Congress’s defense committees last week.

“It is essential that Congress act without delay on the Administration’s pending supplemental request,” the letter read. “Doing so is in our clear national interest, and our assistance is vitally needed so Ukraine can continue its fight for freedom and to ensure Russia continues to fail in Ukraine.”

LAWMAKERS UNLIKELY TO ADVANCE BORDER SECURITY, UKRAINE FUNDING LEGISLATION BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The federal government has sent upward of $100 billion to aid Ukraine since the Russian invasion started, with more than $46 billion earmarked for military assistance. 

The $250 million in aid is categorized under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the president to allocate or transfer defense resources, such as weapons, ammunition, or training, from existing U.S. military stocks to other nations without needing to seek congressional approval for each transfer.

According to the most recent Fox News Poll, a majority of 54% favors sending financial aid to Ukraine, down nine points since January when 63% backed it.

The downward shift in support comes mainly from Republicans — just 35% favor continuing aid to Ukraine, down from 51% in January.

FOX NEWS POLL: SUPPORT FOR HELPING UKRAINE FADING

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report. 

   

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