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Pentagon: US can deliver aid to Ukraine quickly once Congress passes funding

by Martin Fornusek February 21, 2024 10:06 AM 2 min read
U.S. Defense Department Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh speaks at the Pentagon on Aug. 15, 2023. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The U.S. can start delivering defense aid to Ukraine "pretty quickly" once Congress passes a foreign aid bill allocating $60 billion to Kyiv, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said during a press briefing on Feb. 20.

The Senate passed the $95 billion funding request, including assistance for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, earlier this month. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has so far refused to put it to a vote in the House, instead declaring recess until the end of February.

"So if you've seen with most of our PDAs (presidential drawdown authority), we've been able to surge systems and capabilities pretty rapidly, within a few days," Singh said in response to a question on how quickly the aid can be delivered.

"So as soon as Congress gives us that authority, we will be able to, I think pretty quickly, deliver a PDA to the Ukrainians."

Delays in U.S. aid have already had an impact on the ground in Ukraine. The loss of Avdiivka, a Donetsk Oblast city that has faced Russian attacks since 2014, was linked to shortages in artillery shells and other supplies provided by the West.

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"Every day, the Ukrainian people fight bravely and heroically against the Russian aggression," Singh commented.

"So, we are going to continue to urge Congress to pass this urgent supplemental request so that we can deliver Ukraine the air defenses, artillery, and ammunition they need to defend themselves."

It remains unclear whether the House speaker will allow the vote, as he has already spoken against it, arguing it does not include measures addressing the growing number of migrants on the U.S.-Mexican border. Johnson has, however, previously helped to kill a funding request combining both border security provisions and foreign aid.

Lawmakers in support of helping Ukraine are preparing backup ways of pushing the funding through, including an alternative bill that provides less aid to Ukraine and addresses the border or a discharge petition to force the vote on the original proposal.

Opinion: As an American in Avdiivka, what is Congress doing?
I am an American military veteran, callsign “Jackie,” and I am writing from Donbas in Ukraine. I am originally from Orange County, California. I served in the U.S. military for eight years, stationed in Colorado, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I also worked as a contractor at the
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