There’s bipartisan support in Congress to quickly send more aid to Ukraine as it fights back against Russia’s invasion – but the money is tied to a larger spending bill that has yet to be finalized.
The White House has asked lawmakers to attach the additional spending to an appropriations bill that will set the spending limits for the federal government for fiscal year 2022. Congress must pass the bill by midnight Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
The fiscal year started in October, but lawmakers have haggled over the full year appropriations bill for months and have passed three stopgap funding bills, known as continuing resolutions, to keep the government operating in the meantime.
That means that federal agencies have been funded at 2021 levels for the past five months. Without a full year appropriations bill, funding is also held up for brand new federal programs, like some of those created by the bipartisan infrastructure law that passed in November.
Congress could pass another continuing resolution to keep the government operating temporarily after Friday’s deadline if lawmakers can’t make a deal on the larger bill this week.
It’s also possible for Congress to vote on a standalone bill, separate from the larger appropriations package, to approve the aid for Ukraine, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
$12 billion in new aid for Ukraine
Last week, the White House asked Congress to provide additional humanitarian, security and economic assistance for Ukraine and allies in the region. The new funds would be on top of the more than $1 billion the US has provided to Ukraine over the past year.