A group of Republican lawmakers are calling for President Biden’s upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget request to include up to $2 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants for Taiwan.

The top Republicans on the House and Senate foreign affairs and armed services sent a letter to Biden on Thursday, in which they “urge” him to increase the amount of military aid for Taiwan that would go toward purchasing U.S.-made defense equipment.

Low angled view of the U.S. Capitol East Facade Front in Washington, DC.

“We must be willing to accept the tension that comes with supporting Taiwan amidst China’s threats and aggression, and we must match words with actions. Using every authority, we must arm and equip Taiwan to make it a stronger and more capable partner – which will only help the United States’ national and economic security. We look forward to working with members of your administration towards achieving that goal,” Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the ranking members on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committee, respectively, and Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the chairs of the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committee, wrote in their letter. 

The president’s FY ‘24 budget request is expected to be released on March 9. 

The lawmakers note the FY ‘23 National Defense Authorization Act authorized up to $2 billion in FMF grants for Taiwan from FY ‘23 to ‘27, while the final appropriations bill did not include the grants but rather loans that Taipei would have to pay back.

“The loans included in the most recent appropriations bill are potentially helpful, but without FMF grants, loans are not enough to address the scale of this challenge,” the lawmakers write in the letter. “In this context, the administration should increase the FMF budget request and allocate a greater share of Function 150 resources towards FMF, including funding for security assistance and training for Taiwan in fiscal year 2024. This would signal to Congress and Taiwan that the administration in fact prioritizes resources for the policies it has publicly supported and signed into law.”

The Biden administration’s new National Defense Strategy reiterates that China is the U.S.’ “pacing challenge,” with lawmakers calling for upping arms sales to Taiwan in the face of potential increasing aggression from Beijing. 

“However, your administration has consistently failed to act with the seriousness and urgency needed to arm and equip Taiwan. Your administration’s actions, including delaying Congressional Notifications of arms sales to Congress, engaging Congress with a narrow focus on FMF loans to Taiwan, and refusing to provide information on Taiwan’s defense needs requested by Congress, are not helping our ability to help Taiwan defend its territory,” the lawmakers write in the letter.