The U.S. Department of Defence faces constraints in supplying weapons to Ukraine from its warehouses, as additional funds are contingent on Congressional approval. Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon Press Secretary, announced at a briefing that until Congress sanctions supplemental funds, the department cannot allocate weapons to Ukraine from its current stock.
Ryder clarified that there are no available replenishment funds, emphasizing that he does not anticipate new announcements regarding the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) for additional capabilities. He emphasized the ongoing collaboration with Congress, urging the passage of the supplemental funding.
The Pentagon spokesperson detailed that there is approximately $4.2 billion in restored PDA authority; however, the replenishment funds are depleted. This signifies the authority to spend funds without the immediate availability of funds for replenishment, underscoring the critical need for Congressional approval for additional financing.
In October, the White House submitted a supplemental funding request to Congress for the fiscal year 2024, primarily aiming to support Ukraine and Israel while addressing broader geopolitical concerns, including countering China and Russia in the Asia Pacific region. The request totals around $106 billion for these purposes.
The fate of the funding request remains uncertain, with some Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate expressing reservations about continuing financial aid to Ukraine. House Speaker Mike Johnson has advocated tying further aid to Ukraine to increased control over the US southern border, while Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has echoed similar sentiments.
The Pentagon’s call for Congressional approval highlights the complexities surrounding international assistance and underscores the need for political consensus on providing aid to Ukraine amidst shifting geopolitical dynamics. The decision-making process in Congress will significantly impact the scope and nature of continued support for Ukraine, emphasizing the intersection of domestic priorities and international relations in the ongoing debate.