U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers last week that more money will be needed by June to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia, according to multiple sources.
Congress, in its most-recent appropriation for Ukraine in December, gave $45 billion it expected to bolster Ukraine until September or October. The money was part of a $1.66 trillion government funding package.
However, the munitions and money from that appropriation is being used up at a faster rate than had been expected.
Milley, who met with Congressional leaders on Thursday, said another appropriation will be needed by June to prevent Ukraine from being unable to maintain operations and defend against Russian attacks, sources said.
Congress appropriated roughly $112 billion in military and economic support for Ukraine in four separate spending bills last year, the Washington Examiner reported.
That includes $23.5 billion in weapons and equipment from Defense Department stockpiles, provided through presidential drawdowns, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute.
President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv last week, when he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Biden, who has repeated his commitment to helping Ukraine, announced the administration's latest military aid package, valued at roughly $460 million, during his trip there.
Among Republicans, there's a rift growing regarding future funding to Ukraine.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and former Vice President Mike Pence are among those party members who have defended U.S. support of Ukraine.
As Russia's war in Ukraine entered its second year on Friday, McConnell issued a lengthy statement defending the lethal aid being sent to Ukraine as a "direct investment" against Russian President Vladimir Putin's "war machine."
Pence said Friday the U.S. should step up support for Ukraine.
"Make no mistake: This is not America's war. But if we falter in our commitment to providing the support to the people of Ukraine to defend their freedom, our sons and daughters may soon be called upon to defend ours," Pence told an audience at the University of Texas at Austin.
Other GOP members, though, disagree. Former President Donald Trump told conservative commentator Glenn Beck that U.S. spending will pull the country into "World War III."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, generally considered a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, once strongly supported arming Ukraine to fight Russia. He urged sending "defensive and offensive" weapons to Ukraine in 2014 and 2015.
Last week, though, DeSantis criticized President Joe Biden for visiting Ukraine, and questioned the value of U.S. spending for that country's defense.
"An open-ended blank check" is "not acceptable," DeSantis told Fox News.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned during the weekend that potential 2024 GOP presidential contenders who have called for the U.S. to pull back its support for Ukraine should understand the "essence of this conflict."
"It is really important that whoever runs for president of the United States understands the essence of this conflict, the fact that we are defending not just Ukrainian independence, but we're defending a rules-based system that says might doesn't make right, you can't just extinguish your neighbor," Rice said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
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