President Joe Biden’s administration has reportedly confirmed more than $100 billion in US aid to Ukraine since the Russian military offensive began in February 2022, prompting one lawmaker to call for ending the “money pit.”
Responding seven months late to a request from Senate Republicans for an accounting of US assistance to Ukraine, the White House turned over a spreadsheet detailing nearly $101.2 billion in aid that had already been sent to Kiev or committed, Fox News reported on Tuesday. The administration has an additional $9.8 billion in Ukraine spending planned, as well as the $24 billion in new aid that Biden requested from Congress last month.
“We’ve got to stop sinking money into the Ukrainian money pit,” Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) said in reaction to the belated disclosure. Vance and dozens of other Republican lawmakers requested the Ukraine spending information in January and set a February 7 deadline for a response.
Shalanda Young, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, defended the spending binge in a letter to the lawmakers. “This support has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield, as well as the ability of its people to endure under harsh conditions,” she said. Biden has made it clear that the US “will not waver in our commitment to the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom and independence,” Young added.
Former President Donald Trump, who is polling as the leading Republican candidate to run against Biden in the 2024 election, has vowed to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict within 24 hours by forcing the leaders of the two countries to the negotiating table. The US national debt has ballooned to nearly $33 trillion from $28.4 trillion since Biden took office in January 2021.
Washington has been by far the biggest donor to Ukraine and has led an international sanctions campaign to punish Russia over the conflict. As of earlier this summer, total Western aid to Ukraine amounted to €165 billion ($177 billion) according to an estimate by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. US lawmakers have approved $113 billion in Ukraine aid so far.