US debt limit deal won’t limit Ukraine funding, White House assures
The bipartisan deal to avoid a default will not limit the US’s ability to provide additional assistance to Ukraine, White House budget director Shalanda Young said, Bloomberg reports.
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The compromise measure, now working its way through Congress, would increase US defence spending by 3.3 percent.
Any additional military assistance would move through Congress in a supplemental measure that wouldn’t be subject to the deal’s caps on federal spending, according to an official cited by Bloomberg, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.
It is not yet clear if – and when – the White House may ask Congress for more Ukraine funding.
In December, President Joe Biden signed into law a USD 45 billion aid package for Ukraine as part of a year-end spending bill.
Administration officials have said that should provide enough money to last until the end of this fiscal year in September.
According to the State Department, the US has delivered USD 36.9 billion in security assistance since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
The US national debt reached the limit of USD 31.4 trillion earlier this year.
Thanks to the extraordinary measures taken by the Treasury Department, the US government had a few more months to reach an agreement with Congress. If the limit is not raised, the US could eventually face its first-ever default.
Congressional squabbles over the national debt are not uncommon. The last time Congress raised the debt ceiling was in December 2021. In most cases, they have been resolved before they could bring down the markets.
In 2011, however, political infighting led to Standard & Poor's downgrading the US credit rating for the first time in history, which shook financial markets.