Biden’s $40 BILLION “Aid” Has A Side Effect Nobody’s Talking About
(RightWing.org) – As the Russian war against Ukraine enters its fourth month, it appears that the US government is preparing for a much longer and more protracted conflict than previously thought. Since late February, financial aid and weapon drops by the United States, NATO, and other countries have been critical to Ukraine’s ability to protect its homeland from Russian aggression. Without the support, the country would likely have fallen quickly in the face of an overwhelming force.
On May 19, the Senate approved a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine. Yet, the bill also contained other provisions that many conservative lawmakers found unsettling. Eleven Republican Senators voted against the legislation. Now that President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) suggested that Conservatives who voted against the bill may have had a good reason.
Questions About $40 Billion Aid Package Grow
A CSIS study on the $40 billion Ukrainian package revealed that some of the bills might not help Ukraine at all. The aid package does provide $19 billion for immediate military support to Ukraine, but the rest raises serious questions. The concerns aren’t just about the amount of money; they’re also about how the government spends it and for how long.
The CSIS said:
- $19 billion goes directly to support Ukraine’s military
- $3.9 billion to sustain US forces in Europe
- $16 billion to support Ukraine, humanitarian relief, and other international programs
- $2 billion for long-term support of NATO and US defense modernization programs
So, looking at the list, it’s clear that the government won’t spend some of the money immediately, and some won’t be spent for years. The CSIS questioned why much of the money needed to pass in emergency appropriations instead of the regular congressional budget process.
The Root of the Problem
According to the CSIS, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) doesn’t care much for supplement appropriations like the $40 billion aid package. Standard US government policy has been that supplemental appropriations are for real emergencies – i.e., hurricanes or unforeseen beginnings of a conflict. In these situations, the government needs flexibility to act.
Yet, CSIS said the root problem is known as the Christmas tree problem. Lawmakers attach initiatives to supplemental appropriations that don’t get funded or won’t get approved through the regular budget process, which is cumbersome and requires debate. Thus, they hang their ornaments on the Christmas tree.
In the $40 billion package, the CBO estimated that $5 billion would be spent in the current fiscal year that ends September 30 and in fiscal year 2023. Here’s where it gets dicey… $14 billion won’t be disbursed until FY 2026 and beyond.
This part of the plan caused concern among conservative lawmakers. Some argued that the size and time frame of the bill aren’t the only problems. Politico reported that it’s three times larger than what Europe is spending combined. They said the bill was not in America’s best interest and neglected essential issues at home, such as the southern border.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said the US empowered Europe to freeload off America and shortchanged America’s interests. Sen. Mike Bruan (R-IN) said the GOP lost its conservatism over Ukraine and defense spending and said Democrats played them like a fiddle.
Right now, there are more questions arising about the bill than answers. Still, the bill is now law, and the only way to change that is through new legislation.
Good luck with that.
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