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Iran Press TV

Biden asks Congress for a whopping $33 billion in aid package for Ukraine

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 28 April 2022 5:51 PM

US President Joe Biden formally asked Congress for a whopping $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, including more than $20 billion in new military aid and other security assistance over the next five months to use in the regime's war with Russia.

The supplemental funding request includes $16.4 billion for the Defense Department, $8.5 billion in economic assistance, and $3 billion for humanitarian assistance and to fight food insecurity, according to reports.

The new package includes $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $5.4 billion to replenish military inventories of weapons and equipment sent to front lines.

"Additional security assistance will put urgently needed equipment into the hands of Ukraine's military and police, including ammunition, armored vehicles, small arms, demining assistance and unmanned aircraft systems," Biden wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

American journalist and political commentator Don DeBar denounced Biden's request, saying that it shows what the priorities of the Biden administration are.

"To get an understanding of what $33 billion represents in the federal budget, consider that the entire annual budget for fiscal year 2020 for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including all the payouts for Section 8 and other rental assistance and all other federal housing assistance programs in the United States - all of them - came to $44 billion," DeBar said.

"Biden, Pelosi and Schumer are giving Ukraine 3/4 of that annual budget for only 5 months of military aid, meaning that the annualized budget would be somewhere on the order of $70 billion dollars, almost twice the budget of HUD," he noted.

"Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans are housing distressed, millions are in foreclosure and/or eviction and hundreds of thousands of people are homeless in the United States. This is the Biden administration's policy, actualized. It shows what the priorities of this Administration are, and it's clear that war with Russia is much more important to them than housing Americans," he concluded.

On February 24, Russia began a "special military operation" in Ukraine's Donbas region to defend people subjected to "genocide" there against government forces, stressing that Moscow has "no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory."

US President Joe Biden called the Russian action an "unprovoked and unjustified attack," and the American media described it as the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two.

"The cost of this fight is not cheap. But caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen," Biden said. "It's critical this funding gets approved and approved as quickly as possible."

"We're not attacking Russia. We're helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression," he added. "And just as Putin chose to launch this brutal invasion, he could make the choice to end it, this brutal invasion. Russia is the aggressor, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Russia is the aggressor, and the world must and will hold Russia accountable."

Biden said the supplemental budget request will allow weapons and ammunition to flow "without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters" and the US to continue delivering economic and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.

The White House said that more than $20 billion of the $33 billion would be for military and other security systems. Biden has also demanded an additional $8.5 billion in economic assistance to help provide basic services to the Ukrainian people and $3 billion in humanitarian assistance and food security funding.

The US has already delivered $2.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Biden's term in office, though much of that aid has come since Russia's military operation against Ukraine began in late February.

This is while a report has revealed that the US government is struggling to track large quantities of "lethal aid" shipped to Ukraine in recent months amid raging conflict in the country.

Top security officials were quoted as saying by CNN last week that the US intelligence agencies had "almost zero" ability to follow the consignments to their final destination, referring to it as "the largest recent supply to a partner country in a conflict."

"We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero," it quoted a military source as saying. "It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time."

The Biden administration is concerned that the aid "may wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm," a senior military official told CNN.

Western countries, including the US, have in recent weeks dispatched many different types of sophisticated weapons to Ukraine, worth millions of dollars, which has provoked Russia to up the ante.

The first shipments of the latest round of US military assistance to the former Soviet republic, which includes heavier weapons systems, started arriving in the region over the weekend, reports said.

The recently approved $800 million in military aid to Ukraine includes Howitzer artillery systems, 40,000 artillery rounds, armored personnel vehicles, and other weapons.

It brings the total of military shipments to Ukraine since the start of the war in late February to $2.6 billion.

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