The Biden administration is seeking another $10 billion to help protect Ukraine against the Russian invasion and an additional $22.5 billion to cover coronavirus pandemic-related expenses, two major additions to budget talks already underway.
The acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young, laid out the need for the supplemental funding in a Thursday blog post. The requests would be additions to a planned budget agreement that Congress is trying to finish before a March 11 deadline.
Young said in the blog post that the money was urgently needed. The $10 billion to Ukraine would be a rapid escalation of the $1.4 billion provided by the United States since 2021, a reflection of the crisis caused by the Russian offensive that began last month. Young said the money would cover “additional humanitarian, security, and economic assistance in Ukraine and the neighboring region in the coming days and weeks.”
The $22.5 billion tied to the coronavirus would pay for testing, treatments and vaccines as well as investments in research and efforts to increase vaccinations worldwide.
The federal government spent $6.8 trillion last fiscal year, a reflection of the emergency measures tied to the coronavirus that included President Joe Biden‘s $1.9 trillion relief package. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal budget was about $4.4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.