The US Presidential Administration is considering asking Congress to approve a “large aid package” to Ukraine, which could amount to up to $100 billion, allowing for guaranteed funding in case of political turbulence in the US.
This was reported by the British newspaper The Telegraph. According to the media, the White House plans to ask Congress to allocate the largest funding package in history for weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine because of fears that constant disputes over spending could harm Biden in the 2024 elections.
This will avoid further debate in the US Congress over approving aid spending for Ukraine over the next year.
Biden wants a guaranteed long-term military aid in case of political turbulence
“The idea of a ‘big package’ has the guaranteed support of many administration members (Biden – Ed.). Ukraine’s supporters want it to be a one-time big bill and not to have to deal with it (congressional approval of aid – Ed.) until after the next election,” an informed source told The Telegraph.
A US administration official told the newspaper that the White House “is not making any decisions about whether to do one large package or how much it will be” until a new House speaker is elected after Kevin McCarthy resigned.
But he confirmed that a large package to fund Ukraine is “one of the options” being considered.
The Telegraph predicts that the “big package”, if voted on in Congress, will gain support in both the Senate, where most representatives of both parties support Ukraine, and in the House of Representatives, where the influence of the far-right Republican wing is not enough to block the decision.
Support for arms to Ukraine continues to decline in the US – poll
American support for providing Ukraine with weapons is falling, an alarming signal for Kyiv, which relies heavily on American armaments to fight the Russian invasion.
Reuters reported this by quoting a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos.
The two-day poll ended on Wednesday and showed that only 41% of respondents agreed that Washington “should provide weapons to Ukraine.” In comparison, 35% disagreed, and the rest were undecided.
According to a May Reuters/Ipsos poll, 46% of Americans supported sending weapons, while 29% opposed and the rest were unsure.
The poll was conducted as US congressional leaders debate Democratic President Joe Biden’s request for $24 billion in additional funding for Ukraine, about $17 billion of which is defence aid.
US military aid for Ukraine for counteroffensive
Washington has allocated $44 billion to supply Kyiv with dozens of tanks, thousands of missiles, and millions of rounds of ammunition that Ukraine has used to defend itself since Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
Ukrainian forces have liberated several villages and towns from Russian occupation in a counteroffensive that began in June. However, Ukraine’s soldiers are hampered by vast Russian minefields and trenches.
“Big package” for Ukraine will likely pass in Congress
Last week, Congress approved a 45-day stopgap federal budget that does not include additional funding for Ukraine. This has raised concerns in the White House and Kyiv that American support could end at one of the most critical moments of a full-scale Russian invasion.
At the same time, the Pentagon still has some funds left over to provide military assistance to Ukraine, and according to media reports, the US may announce another $200 million package next week.
Military analysts have warned that Ukraine would struggle to maintain its counter-offensive against Putin’s invading forces in the occupied areas in the east, southeast and south of the country without US military aid.
Political analysts say that the “big package” will likely pass in Congress with the support of almost all Democrats and around half Republican representatives. Military assistance to Ukraine also has the backing of the majority of senators.