The Pentagon is preparing to make “difficult choices” between US preparedness and support for Ukraine as the funding package continues – LSB

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Pentagon officials urged Congress to approve a supplemental funding package on Thursday because ultimately, they said, the money the Defense Department can quickly draw to support Ukraine will dwindle, forcing leaders to make tough choices about funding U.S. preparedness.

Ministry of Defense spokesman, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday that additional funding is needed to provide additional support to Ukraine through 2024.

“We’ve got about… $4.4 billion left, I think now, with most of it [Presidential Drawdown Authority] “And about $1 billion remaining in renovation funds,” Ryder said. “Certainly, we reserve the option to spend the $4.4 [billion].

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Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. General Patrick Ryder (AP Photo/Andrew Harnick/File)

“But these are difficult choices, because ultimately, we are starting to have to make decisions about our willingness and ability to continue to support Ukraine the way it needs to be supported on the battlefield.” he added. “So, again, that’s why we’re urging Congress to pass this supplement [funding] as soon as possible.”

Ryder opened the press conference by saying the department applauds Congress’ passage of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act.

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Members of Congress

Congress passed the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images/File)

He said the legislation allows for a 5.2% pay increase for service members and civilian employees at the Pentagon, while also providing investments in America’s national security and military to meet the challenges of the 21st century. But he called on Congress to do more.

“We continue to urge Congress to approve our urgent supplemental budget request to help stand with our partners and invest in our defense industrial base,” Ryder said.

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Biden and Zelensky in Kyiv

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky walk in Kiev, Ukraine, earlier this year. (Reuters/Gleb Jaranich/Archive)

As of Thursday, lawmakers had not reached an agreement on the supplemental package.

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Talks have been ongoing with senators and Biden administration officials this week, with Republicans refusing to pass about $60 billion in additional aid to Ukraine unless it is tied to strict border security measures, such as immediate screening to process asylum claims and rapid expulsion of illegal entrants. .

The total additional aid requested by the White House for the first time in October is about $106 billion, and includes $14 billion in aid to Israel.

Fox News Digital’s Jamie Joseph contributed to this report.

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