The Pentagon’s comptroller told lawmakers Wednesday a request is likely to be delivered to Congress this week for additional supplemental funding to continue supporting Ukraine with U.S. military equipment, after the department has nearly worked through most of the currently allocated spending.
“As of the end of this week, we will have pretty much used all of that drawdown and Ukraine Security [Assistance] Initiative funding. We anticipate sending an additional supplemental to Congress this week to continue to message that we are in this with the Ukrainians, we and our partners, to make sure that they have what they need to continue their fight against Russian aggression,” DoD Comptroller Mike McCord told the House Budget Committee during a hearing.
The $1.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending package passed in mid-March included a $13.6 billion supplemental spending bill for emergency aid to Ukraine, which covered $3 billion for “European Command operations mission support, the deployment of personnel to the region, and intelligence support” and $3.5 billion to replenish defense stocks for equipment provided to Ukraine (Defense Daily, March 11).
During remarks last week detailing the latest $800 million military equipment package to Ukraine, President Biden said the Pentagon was working through the final funding numbers that will be required in the next supplemental funding request to Congress (Defense Daily, April 21).
“However, with this latest disbursement, I’ve almost exhausted the drawdown authority I have that Congress authorized for Ukraine in a bipartisan spending bill last month,” Biden said on April 21. “In order to sustain Ukraine for the duration of this fight, next week I’m going to be sending to Congress a supplemental budget request to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters and to continue to deliver economic assistance to the Ukrainian people.”
With the latest weapons package, the U.S. has now committed more than $4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine over the last year, to include more than $3.4 billion since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
During the hearing, which was focused on the Pentagon’s FY ‘23 budget, McCord noted the department’s budget request was finalized before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“There’s not a direct straight line from the invasion therefore the budget does X, Y, Z,” McCord said. “If we need to ask for additional funding in [FY] ‘23, specifically to assist the Ukrainians, then I would anticipate that the [defense] secretary will be back before Congress to talk about that. But the [FY ‘23] budget [request] continues the underlying framework of the European Deterrence Initiative and we look forward to seeing how we can strengthen that in concert with our allies at the NATO summit this summer.”