The Pentagon this week refused to offer key particulars in regards to the Biden administration’s request for an extra $37.7 billion in funding to assist Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s invasion – a request that might put complete U.S. taxpayer support to Ukraine above $100 billion for the reason that conflict began in February.
The White Home requested for extra money final week in a letter from the Workplace of Administration and Funds to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. That letter defined that of the $37.7 billion it desires, $21.7 billion would go towards “gear for Ukraine, replenishment of Division of Protection shares” and different help to Ukraine.
Nonetheless, when requested Tuesday how a lot of that quantity could be directed towards replenishing U.S. shares, the Pentagon declined to reply.
“I’d not be capable to let you know how a lot of that $21.7 billion goes again to replenishment,” Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary, mentioned when requested. “I simply wouldn’t be capable to try this from right here.”
When requested if she might “take the query” again to the Pentagon and are available again with a solution, Singh mentioned she wouldn’t.
“I’m not going to take the query as a result of I am answering your query,” he mentioned. “I am not going to have the ability to itemize that out proper now. I simply haven’t got a quantity or a greenback determine for you proper now on what that appears like, and I do not assume that is one thing that we’d broadcast from right here, or at the very least one thing that I might broadcast from right here right now.”
The administration will almost certainly have to offer extra particulars to Congress earlier than laws could be handed authorizing extra Ukraine spending. For instance, the primary Ukraine funding invoice sought by the administration in the beginning of the conflict authorized $40 billion in spending. Of that quantity, $6 billion was used to offer weapons, gear, logistics help, coaching and different direct navy help to Ukraine, and $9 billion went towards replenishing U.S. weapons shares.
Lawmakers and others are rising more and more excited by funding to replenish U.S. weapons shares, after the U.S. has been depleting its personal provides to help Ukraine.
In October, sources who monitor U.S. munitions provides mentioned it’ll turn into increasingly troublesome to ship high-end weaponry like HIMAR rocket launchers, Javelin anti-tank missiles and others as a result of home provides are so low.
In early October, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., proposed laws geared toward ensuring the U.S. restores its depleted shares and kickstarts manufacturing of this stuff within the U.S.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has proven that america’ stockpile of munitions is dangerously low. We should reinvest not solely within the munitions essential for the protection of America, but additionally in a workforce that may construct these weapons to make sure our navy’s readiness,” Cotton mentioned in October.
Some Republicans have complained that the massive spending payments getting used to help Ukraine are stuffed with non-military objects that increase their value, and the White Home request contains billions in non-military spending.
For instance, throughout the White Home’s newest request for $37.7 billion is a $14.5 billion request that might fund further safety help to Ukraine that might be run by the State Division, and meals safety help run by means of the U.S. Company for Worldwide Improvement.
The White Home additionally desires one other $626 million for “nuclear safety help” in Ukraine and for modernizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to “cut back home power prices.” The White Home says most of that cash could be used to construct again the oil reserve.
Lastly, the White Home desires one other $900 million to offer well being care providers to Ukraine by means of the Division of Well being and Human Companies.
“We should proceed to help the folks of Ukraine as they defend their sovereignty and stand resolute within the face of Russia’s brutal conflict,” the White Home mentioned. “Collectively, with robust, bipartisan help in Congress, we’ve offered important help that has been essential to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield—and we can not let that help run dry.”