WASHINGTON, D.C. — Friday marks one year since Russia invaded Ukraine, and in recognizing it, President Biden met with world leaders and announced more aid to the country.
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“We will make sure Ukraine has what it needs to be successful on the battlefield,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Federal records show Congress approved over $113 billion in aid last year. These funds have primarily been appropriated to the Department of Defense, the State Department, and USAID.
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“Need to continue to understand that Vladimir Putin is not going to stop unless we, as allied nations, help Ukraine in stopping him,” said Bishop Garrison, a former senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense
He believes this aid is an investment that supports our national security.
“If we don’t help allies like Ukraine here on the outset, we are going to risk placing our own strategic interest in danger,” said Garrison.
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But critics say that’s money that could be better used here at home.
According to federal records, this is where the money is going. It shows about $68 billion in aid is going to security assistance, $38 billion in aid is going to economic and humanitarian assistance and another $7 billion is going to other types of support.
“$113 billion is a lot of money but in the context of the whole federal budget, which is well over $3 trillion, it’s not as big,” said Steve Ellis, President for Taxpayers for Common Sense, which is a national budget watchdog group.
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Ellis said tracking this money is key, and that’s why he’s glad to see Congress also set aside money for oversight.
“Making sure that the money is being spent wisely and appropriately,” said Ellis. “Because as soon as it’s not, then all of a sudden it becomes a real question as to is this a wise use of federal resources?”
A State Department spokesperson said this response boosts advancing Ukraine’s overall security while the country is still at war against Russia.
Friday, President Biden met virtually with the G-7 leaders and the President of Ukraine. Officials say they’re reaffirming their support for the country for as long as it takes.
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