White House: More Ukraine Money Not Necessary Now, Probably Later

TOPSHOT - US President Joe Biden (L) walks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of a working session on Ukraine during the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023. (Photo by Susan Walsh / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

At the appropriate time, the Joe Biden administration expects Congress to give Ukraine more taxpayer funds than the already allotted $113 billion.

After House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised a Senate package to provide additional supplemental aid to Ukraine is not “going anywhere” in the House, John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, told reporters he “fully” expects Congress to provide more taxpayer funds in the future.

“Are the speakers’ comment’s consistent with what you guys [White House] kind of understood out of the deal that was brokered last week?” a reporter asked Kirby.

“We have every expectation that that’s going to continue,” he responded during the White House press briefing. “We’ve got enough funds, as I said earlier, to help support Ukraine on the battlefield throughout the rest of this fiscal year.”

Before the Republicans retook the House in November, Congress earmarked $113 billion of taxpayer money to defend Ukraine’s eastern border.

“We are grateful for the supplemental funding for this fiscal year. Terrific support on Capitol Hill. Again, both chambers. Both parties. And we fully expect for that to continue,” Kirby said.

“We are just not at a decision point to talk about the need for additional funding,” he added. “Now is not the appropriate time to have that conversation with them [Congress].”

Relevant comments start at 12:27:

The White House’s expectation that taxpayers should defend Ukraine’s eastern border comes as McCarthy told Punchbowl News that any extra aid for Ukraine would have to originate from the annual appropriations process as part of the Pentagon’s $866 billion in discretionary spending. Both Democrats and Republicans agreed to that process in the debt ceiling deal.

“I’m not going to pre-judge what some of them [in the Senate] do, but if they think they’re writing a supplemental because they want to go around an agreement we just made, it’s not going anywhere,” McCarthy said.

If lawmakers work to approve more taxpayer dollars for Ukraine, they must work through the appropriation process, a procedure of which the White House appears confident will benefit Ukraine — all while the United States is over $31 trillion in debt.

“You first have to show, what do you need money for? We’ve got an approps process. We’re just going to work through an approps process. They’re not going to circumvent what we’re doing here,” he said.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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