US Announces More Aid Intended for Ukraine

US Announces More Aid Intended for Ukraine

( – Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the West, largely the United States, has sent billions of dollars in aid to the war-torn country. These packages have included weapons, ammunition, equipment, and humanitarian aid. In December, the Pentagon announced it was out of funds to help. Without a new budget approval from Congress, things remained at a standstill for more than three months — until recently.

On Tuesday, March 12, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that the Pentagon would send Ukraine $300 million in weapons. President Joe Biden used his Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) to authorize the package, but it took some finesse to find the money to issue it. According to the DoD, it had stopped sending aid in December because there was a lack of funding. However, the department has since “identif[ied] contract savings from previously appropriated supplemental funding,” and it was able to redirect those savings to help Ukraine.

The funds will provide military capabilities, including ammunition, artillery rounds, AT-4 anti-armor systems, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, demolition munitions, and other equipment.

However, the DoD cautioned this drawdown, the 44th since August 2021, only serves as “a short-term stop gap” and won’t provide Ukraine enough help in the long run. Congress would still need to approve supplemental funding to allow the department to continue providing the country with the help it needs to fight off Russia.

That effort has stalled. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has refused to bring the Senate foreign aid bill passed in early February to the floor for a vote. He has insisted on first approving measures for border security at home. According to The Washington Post, the pressure is increasing on Johnson to begin addressing the issue of helping foreign allies.

In fact, lawmakers are now taking matters into their own hands with competing discharge petitions submitted on March 12. These petitions would allow rank-and-file representatives to force a House vote by moving the legislation out of the committees. To do that, they must have 218 signatures by March 19. As of Wednesday evening, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) had gathered nearly 180.

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