The White House released a $40.1 billion funding proposal on Thursday. The proposal was sent to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a formal communication, which included detailed information. This comprehensive request encompasses various financial allocations, allocating $24 billion for Ukraine-related matters. In comparison, a comparatively modest sum of $4 billion is earmarked for reinforcing security measures along the southern border.
To clarify, the White House has proposed providing $13.1 billion to the Pentagon. This funding would provide direct military aid to Kyiv and restock the military’s supplies. Additionally, there is a provision for the State Department to receive $8.5 billion to extend humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine. In addition, the proposal suggests that the Treasury should receive $2.3 billion to provide financial assistance to Ukraine. This would be an alternative to relying on funding from adversarial sources such as China.
Recent polls show that Americans are less enthusiastic about giving extra aid to Ukraine. A significant 55% of respondents in a recent CNN poll expressed opposition to authorizing further funding, with a prevailing sentiment that Ukraine has already received adequate assistance. Throughout the ongoing conflict, the United States has previously authorized a substantial sum surpassing $113 billion in aid to Ukraine.
In addition, the situation is made more complex by the current talks in Congress about how to distribute funds for the next financial year. If a consensus is not reached, a government shutdown in October is possible. While both Democratic and Republican factions previously reached an accord on spending limits during deliberations on the debt ceiling earlier in the year, there is a faction advocating for deeper cuts in spending.
It’s pertinent to recall that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from California exhibited reluctance in committing to providing additional financial backing for Ukraine earlier in the year. Recently, Representative Chip Roy, a member of the House Freedom Caucus with a reputation for staunch positions, tweeted his perspective that the United States should be more concerned about the southern border.
A noticeable contrast can be seen between the significant amount of financial support given to Ukraine and the much smaller allocation of around $4 billion for improving security measures at the southern border.
To be precise, the administration’s funding proposal entails a request of $2.65 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, an allocation of $350 million is proposed for the Department of Health and Human Services, earmarked for providing support in addressing the fentanyl crisis. Notably, just shy of $1 billion is being sought by the State Department, with the intended purpose of aiding migrants and conducting investigations into child labor activities.
The Department of Homeland Security funding request may face resistance from conservatives. This is primarily due to some lawmakers advocating for the lower chamber to withhold additional funds from the department unless substantial policy adjustments are implemented.
Texas Republican Representative Chip Roy, on a recent Wednesday, circulated a letter among his fellow congressional colleagues, urging precisely this course of action. He stressed that the crisis at the southern border is having an excessive impact on Texas because of what he deems to be the unjustified and reckless decisions made by President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas. Among the demands laid out in the letter is the removal of Secretary Mayorkas, the enactment of border security legislation, the establishment of policies empowering law enforcement to confront drug cartels or compensation for Texas’s endeavors in securing the border.