In a candid communication, the White House’s budget director, Shalanda Young, has issued a stark warning to Congress, expressing grave concerns over the dwindling fiscal and military support provided to Ukraine by the United States. This cautionary stance was revealed in a letter, which the Financial Times cites as the most forthright evaluation yet of the situation.
The crux of Young’s message to lawmakers is the urgent request for an additional $61 billion in aid to Ukraine. This plea is part of President Joe Biden’s larger $106 billion emergency funding package, which also includes support for Israel, the Pacific region, and the U.S.-Mexico border. The supplemental package, proposed in October, is crucial to continuing the procurement of weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to sustain the provision of U.S. military stockpile resources. Without legislative action, Young emphasized, funding will be depleted by year’s end.
In her letter, Young is unequivocal: “We are out of money — and nearly out of time.” This urgent call comes as Biden’s request faces an impasse in Washington, with a noticeable shift in bipartisan support and growing Republican reticence towards an indefinite commitment to Ukraine’s cause, which some perceive as an interminable conflict.
The potential for reaching a consensus in the Senate remains uncertain, and even less clear is the chance of passage through the Republican-dominated House. The newly appointed Speaker, Mike Johnson, has not indicated a willingness to maintain the financial stream supporting Ukraine’s defense.
Young’s letter to Congress didn’t mince words about the consequences of halting U.S. aid, suggesting such a move would severely undermine Ukraine’s military efforts and potentially reverse its hard-fought gains, boosting the prospects for Russian advances.
The United States’ contributions, according to Young, are uniquely critical. While international allies have increased their support, the role of U.S. assistance remains irreplaceable and pivotal.
This development in Washington coincides with negotiations in the European Union, where member states in Brussels are considering a substantial €50bn aid package for Ukraine, according to sources close to the Financial Times.
Beyond military aid, Young underscored the necessity of economic support for Ukraine. She warned that a collapse of the Ukrainian economy would mean an abrupt end to its resistance efforts against Russia, a scenario that Russian President Vladimir Putin is strategically targeting through assaults on Ukraine’s grain exports and energy framework.