The White House is exploring several potential strategies to raise additional funds for Ukraine.
While Congress disputes weapons financing, the Biden administration is considering using a State Department grant program to send further military supplies to Ukraine.
In a last-minute arrangement, lawmakers eliminated money to avoid a shutdown. The officials, who were given anonymity, discussed this information amongst themselves.
President Joe Biden hinted at this plan on Wednesday, saying there may be other ways to get the money. He refrained from saying anything else.
One of the officials said that the president was talking about the government’s preexisting authority to spend money, which Congress granted. If Congress does not act, he can provide Ukraine with more assistance for longer due to these powers.
The two officials claim that one option is to use foreign military funds. The State Department administers a program that provides grants and loans to help developing countries purchase weapons and defense equipment. The objective is to aid Ukraine, and the other countries hit hard by Russia’s incursion.
The U.S. has around $650 million left from the $4.6 billion in foreign military finance that Congress provided for Ukraine and countries affected by the crisis in Ukraine through two supplementary packages as of September 21st, according to the State Department.
A U.S. official has stated that even if the United States uses the financial authority to purchase weapons, additional cash to aid Ukraine must be approved by Congress.
According to a Defense Department person with knowledge of the conversations, the administration may ask Congress to reallocate funds from other parts of the Pentagon budget to help Ukraine. Legislative clearance is necessary for this option, though.
A representative for the Pentagon said the department has not decided which path it will take.
Despite Biden’s worries about the war’s money running out, he said he was confident that most lawmakers from both parties would vote to continue paying for it in the House and Senate.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell would collaborate to pass a significant package for Ukraine. However, its prospects in the Republican-controlled House are less specific, as most GOP members last week opposed further funding.