In a new emergency spending request submitted to Congress on Thursday, the Biden administration is seeking to allocate a staggering six times more funds to support Ukraine in its conflict against Russia than to address the pressing issues of border security and the influx of fentanyl into the United States.
The request, directed to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, outlines a proposed $24 billion aid package for Ukraine. This substantial amount would be divided between $13 billion for defense-related expenditures and $11 billion for economic and humanitarian assistance to the nation. However, the administration has only earmarked $4 billion to tackle the ongoing border and immigration challenges, as well as the concerning issue of fentanyl trafficking from foreign sources. The cumulative sum of the request totals approximately $40 billion.
A senior official from the Department of Homeland Security emphasized that this emergency package reflects both national security imperatives and domestic priorities such as disaster relief and border management. The administration’s commitment to Ukraine was underscored, with the official highlighting the bipartisan support garnered for assisting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions.
In contrast to the generous allocation for Ukraine, the request has raised eyebrows, especially among conservative circles, due to the comparatively modest provisions for border security and fentanyl-related concerns. The official further asserted that the border situation is a dynamic challenge and that the administration will continue to engage with Congress as circumstances evolve.
The White House has remained tight-lipped on the matter, declining to comment on the request to Fox News.
This move for additional funding comes on the heels of a previous allocation of $48 billion for Ukraine approved by Congress in December, prior to the shift in power to Republicans in the House of Representatives. The road to securing approval for this funding package in the House is expected to be an uphill battle, as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has made clear his reluctance to bring a supplemental Ukraine funding bill to the floor. A notable contingent of conservative voices has expressed skepticism about providing additional financial support to Ukraine without commensurate accountability measures.
In recent weeks, the ongoing surge in illegal border crossings along the Texas-Mexico border has further intensified concerns. All sectors along the border are grappling with either overcapacity or impending limits on the number of immigrants they can accommodate. According to a source from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the current count of migrants in Border Patrol custody stands at a staggering 19,400 nationwide.
New White House funding request:
$24 billion for Ukraine
$4 billion for US border/fentanyl/immigration
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) August 10, 2023
I love how Joe Biden asks for $13 billion for the Maui disaster and slips in $24 billion more for UKRAINE! pic.twitter.com/lNgOr8QFzE
— Joshua T. Hosler (@JoshuaHosler) August 12, 2023
As Congress deliberates the emergency spending request, the Biden administration’s priorities are under scrutiny, with concerns raised about the potential implications of channeling such a significant portion of resources toward Ukraine while addressing border security and fentanyl trafficking remain vital concerns.