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President Joe Biden is asking Congress to provide USD 13.7 billion in emergency dollars for Ukraine as U.S. aid to the war-torn country is running out.
The request, which comes as lawmakers are preparing to return to Washington, is part of a larger USD 47.1 billion emergency spending package the White House is proposing to pay for the COVID-19 response, the ongoing monkeypox outbreak and help for recent natural disasters in Kentucky and other states. Congress will have to extend current financing for federal agencies before it runs out on Sept. 30.
The money for Ukraine would be on top of USD 40 billion that was approved earlier this year. Administration officials said that roughly three-quarters of that military and budgetary support has been disbursed or committed.
The new billions would include money for equipment, intelligence support and direct budgetary support for Ukraine. It would also include USD 1.5 billion for uranium to fuel U.S. nuclear reactors as the Russian supply could potentially decrease. The officials requested anonymity to discuss the request ahead of its announcement.
For COVID-19, the White House is seeking USD 7.1 billion to procure additional vaccines and replenish personal protective equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile, among other protective measures. It is also seeking USD 2 billion to continue testing programs, including an initiative to distribute free at-home tests that ended on Friday. The administration officials said they have some tests left in the stockpile, but not enough to provide free tests if there is a surge in cases this fall.
The administration is also asking for USD 4.5 billion to bolster its efforts to fight monkeypox. Officials said they have already depleted significant reserves from the national stockpile to provide over 1.1 million vials of vaccine.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Fri, September 02 2022. 23:44 IST