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Biden Requests Congress To Approve $33 Bln Aid Package For Ukraine

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President Joe Biden has made a $33 billion supplemental budget request to Congress to provide security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine battling Russian invasion.

Out of this record aid package, $20 billion is aimed at providing military and other security assistance to keep weapons and ammunition flowing to the Ukrainian people. This includes $5 billion in additional drawdown authority, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and $4 billion for the State Department's Foreign Military Financing program.

The Biden administration is requesting Congress to provide an additional $8.5 billion in economic assistance to help the government of Ukraine respond to the immediate crisis caused by the Russian invasion and continue to provide basic services to the Ukrainian people.

Biden is also seeking Congressional approval to provide $3 billion in additional humanitarian assistance and food security funding. These resources will provide wheat and other commodities to people in need, build countries' resilience to the global food supply and price shock, and provide lifesaving aid to people displaced by the war in Ukraine.

A senior Biden Administration Official said this request also includes targeted funding to address economic disruptions felt at home and around the world due to Russia's invasion. "That includes helping increase U.S. production of food crops, such as wheat and soybeans, and funding to allow the use of the Defense Production Act to expand domestic production of reserves of critical minerals and materials that have been disrupted by Putin's war and are necessary to make everything from defense systems to cars," he told reporters.

In addition to this supplemental funding, Biden is also sending to Congress a comprehensive legislative package to make it easier to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs and elites, expand assets subject to seizure, and enable the proceeds to flow to Ukraine.

Biden said at a news conference that the United States is working with other nations like South Korea, Japan and Qatar to support effort to help the European allies threatened by Russia with gas blackmail and their energy needs in other ways.

Meanwhile, reports say that it will take weeks for Congress to put the President's Ukraine supplemental funding request to vote, as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle warn there are many issues that need to be addressed over the $33 bln aid package.

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