WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden is asking Congress for $33 billion in a new aid package for Ukraine.
“We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom,” Biden said.
Just seven weeks after Congress approved billions in aid for Ukraine, Biden says it’s time for Congress to spend more.
“We either back Ukrainian people as they defend their country or we stand by as Russians continue their atrocities and aggression in Ukraine,” the president said.
He says the $33 billion he’s asking for will help Ukraine hold off the Russian invasion for the next five months.
“Russia is the aggressor. And the world must and will hold Russia accountable,” Biden said.
The money will provide direct economic and humanitarian assistance, but the majority of the funding will secure weapons and ammunition.
“We want to give them the kinds of capabilities that they need in this fight that they’re in right now, and it’s a very active fight,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.
The Pentagon says the U.S. can’t predict when this war will end. For now, the priority is getting resources out as fast as possible.
“We need to look and consider long term. We need to consider the fact that this war could go on for months. Nobody knows for sure, but we’re talking about a war now in an area of Ukraine that both sides know well,” Kirby said.
Beyond military support, the president wants to enhance sanctions on Russian oligarchs.
“We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes and ill-begotten gains,” Biden said.
And he says there will be $500 million for domestic food production to help offset shortages caused by the conflict.