White House preparing to ask Congress for ‘massive’ Ukraine aid package, officials say

The White House is preparing to send a new funding request to Congress as soon as Thursday for additional Ukraine aid that’s likely to be designed to last for the next five months, administration officials said.

The officials described the amount of the request as “massive” but would not provide a specific dollar amount. Some details were still not finalized, the officials said.

The amount, however, is intended to fund US military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through the end of the current federal fiscal year, the officials said. The fiscal year ends Oct. 1.

The extended assistance package for Ukraine comes as the Biden administration has said its goals in Ukraine are now “weaken” Russia, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put it this week, and US officials are open that the aim for Ukraine to win the war against Russia.

The military aid is expected to include capabilities Ukraine could use now and equipment for the longer term.

The US has provided Ukraine with more than $3 billion in military aid since Russia’s invasion. In announcing the most recent $800 million US aid package last week, President Joe Biden said that he had nearly run out of funding authorized by Congress for military aid and that he would be submitting a new request this week.

After NBC News reported the request would be through the current fiscal year, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that it “will definitely be this week.”

“In terms of the length or the size, I don’t have a number for you at this point in time,” Psaki said, “but there are plans for this to be a proposal to go through the fiscal year and it will include , as our past packages have included, security or military assistance, humanitarian economic assistance, given those in our view will help address a range of the needs the Ukrainians have.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Wednesday that he had spoken to the White House about the supplemental funding request and expects it tomorrow.

“I believe we will get a very strong, broad-based request for Ukrainian aid tomorrow,” Schumer said.

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