Congress settles on $782.5B national defence budget, disbursing $13.6 billion aid to Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once asked the United States for arms assistance in a statement via a zoom call. Zelensky said that what Ukraine needed right now was weapons. He also said he would not leave Ukraine and fight alongside his people against Russian military aggression. It didn't take long for President Joe Biden, with the approval of the US Parliament, to immediately disburse an aid package worth USD 13.6 billion to Ukraine. A total of 3 billion USD from the aid package will be used to buy the weapons Kyiv needs.
This law reacts to Russia's unjustified invasion of Ukraine by providing $13.6 billion in emergency help to Ukraine and its neighbours.
The new legislation significantly raises the Pentagon's procurement and research and development accounts, granting $119 billion in research, development, test, and evaluation funds, a $7 billion increase over the department's request and a $12 billion increase over the FY21 approved level.
It also allows nearly $145 billion for procurement, which is $12.4 billion more than the budget proposal and $8.4 billion more than the previous year's provision.
The plan would provide the Navy with $26.7 billion to purchase 13 additional ships, which is $4.1 billion more than the request. It also funds the Air Force's request for 85 F-35s, 12 F/A-18E/Fs, and 12 F-15EXs.
Despite warnings from service chiefs, the Army obtained budgetary increases for some older platforms that future budget requests will have to make painful choices to accomplish modernisation targets. The Army purchase account contains an additional $139 million for 41 Stryker A1 combat vehicles, which is $139 million more than the Army requested. Legislators are adding $374 million to the Army's budget proposal for counter-small unmanned aerial systems, raising the total to $434 million.
The Ukrainian assistance bill includes $3 billion for European Command's operations mission support, deployment, and intelligence support. It also contains $650 million for the Foreign Military Financing programme, which will help Ukraine and its neighbours, notably NATO Eastern Flank countries, create "capability to prevent Russian aggression in Ukraine and its neighbours." An additional $300 million is included in the omnibus for the Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative. It also allocates tens of millions of dollars to Eastern European allies, including $180 million for the Baltic Security Initiative, $30 million for Poland, $30 million for Romania, $20 million for Bulgaria, and $40 million for Georgia.