The White House warned Monday that U.S. funds for Ukraine will run dry by the end of the year, bluntly declaring a failure by Congress to approve new support would “kneecap” Kyiv and hinder efforts to deliver more lethal aid from U.S. reserves.
The Financial Times reports the alert comes from Shalanda Young, the White House budget director. She set out her worries in a letter to congressional leaders in the most direct assessment yet of Washington’s waning financial and military support for Ukraine.
The White House is seeking $61 billion more for Ukraine aid in the latest tranche even as bipartisan support fades.
The proposal is part of a $106 billion supplemental package Biden sent lawmakers in October for additional funding for Ukraine, Israel, the Pacific and the U.S.-Mexico border.
“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,” Young wrote to political leaders of both parties.
“There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money — and nearly out of time,” she said.
President Joe Biden’s request for $106 billion in emergency funding for his biggest foreign policy priorities remains mired in stalemate on Capitol Hill, driven by mounting Republican opposition to endlessly supplying Kyiv in a seeming war without end, the FT report details.
Even if an agreement is reached in the Senate, it is unclear if it can pass the Republican-led House, whose new speaker Mike Johnson has shown little desire to keep funds flowing for Ukraine.
“Cutting off the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories,” Young wrote to Congress.
“Already, our packages of security assistance have become smaller and the deliveries of aid have become more limited . . . while our allies around the world have stepped up to do more, US support is critical and cannot be replicated by others,” she added.
The White House warning comes as E.U. member states work to reach a budget deal in Brussels that would send €50bn to Ukraine, people close to the discussions told the FT.
Young said Ukraine also needed economic support, which is in danger of stalling.
“If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting, full stop,” she wrote.
“Putin understands this well, which is why Russia has made destroying Ukraine’s economy central to its strategy — which you can see in its attacks against Ukraine’s grain exports and energy infrastructure,” she added.