White House Asks Congress For Billions In Ukraine, COVID-19 Funding During Lame Duck

Jennifer Shutt, Michigan Advance

The Biden administration on Tuesday asked Congress for billions more in funding this year to address COVID-19 and the ongoing war in Ukraine, suggesting lawmakers attach it to a spending bill that must pass before Dec. 16.

The $9 billion request for COVID-19 operations and nearly $38 billion in additional relief for Ukraine will soon be joined by another emergency aid request to help communities recover from natural disasters, though administration officials didn’t say Tuesday how soon they’d release those details.

White House budget director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to Congress that the “American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities, and I urge the Congress to address them as part of a comprehensive, bipartisan agreement in the weeks ahead.”

The request for COVID-19 is significantly smaller than the $22.4 billion the Biden administration asked Congress to provide earlier this year. Negotiators on Capitol Hill have since reached two separate bipartisan agreements on COVID-19 funding, though neither has made it to the floor.

The nearly $10 billion request the White House sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday was “designed to meet the moment,” according to an administration official.

“We are asking Congress for what we believe we need to combat the virus here and globally,” the official told reporters on a call Tuesday afternoon.

The White House request for COVID-19 funding would mostly go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue providing vaccines and therapeutics, support research into so-called next generation vaccines and fund research and treatments for long COVID-19.

Another $1 billion would go to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development to continue testing, treatment and vaccination efforts around the world.

The Biden administration is asking lawmakers for an additional $400 million to restock the smallpox vaccine that’s been distributed throughout the summer to combat monkeypox and $350 million for “procurement and distribution of treatment for hepatitis C and pre-exposure prophylaxis to help prevent HIV.”

An administration official said they believe this is “an opportune moment for us to step up our efforts to prevent other treatable and prevent disease,” though the official declined to elaborate on why the White House is asking for the extra funding now and not through the regular appropriations process next year.

Ukraine aid

The $27.7 billion request for Ukraine would be divided up among the U.S. departments of Defense, Energy, HHS and State.

The bulk of the supplemental funding request, $21.7 billion, would go to the Defense Department for ongoing “military, intelligence and other defense support.” Another $14.5 billion would go to State and USAID for food security and humanitarian assistance as well as security assistance.

The Energy Department would receive $626 million to provide Ukraine with nuclear security assistance and for the U.S. to modernize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve “to reduce domestic energy costs and ensure sustainable access to energy resources.”

HHS would get $900 million “to provide standard assistance health care and support services to Ukrainian parolees.”

An administration official said the Ukraine funding is intended to last through the end of the United States fiscal year next September.

Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.

About J. Williams

Check Also

President Joe Biden giving an Oval Address

Biden Calls for Civility After Assassination Attempt on Trump

Jimmy Williams President Joe Biden urged Americans to “lower the temperature” of political rhetoric during …

One comment

  1. Someone please explain to me why are we giving so much money to the Ukrainian people and we are struggling over here 👈🏾 n the U.S. interest rates, groceries, gas etc.. people crossing the border and we have a high rate of homelessness here already that they haven’t recently began to tackle all over the US we can’t as tax payers afford this. They’re slow on raising the minimum wage but quick to ask for money for foreign countries when will we see that money back never 👎 social security is depleting they charge a arm leg foot for medical insurance and other countries don’t start tackling the shit here first and let other NATO COUNTIES pick up the slack. They didn’t do this for Hati and Puerto Rico. They watch as the Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 treat Haitians like shit Aid Hati!!!!!!!!!!! Take some of that fake police “retraining” money and put it back into the communities they meaning the police 👮‍♀️ try and destroy build more libraries you never here that more tech traing for the youth of America Come On when does this stop. I never hear of another country paying the US back but they quick to ask us for funding. I can’t afford it nether can our people.

Leave a Reply