What is an Emergency Supplemental and Why Does Ukraine Need One?
War is expensive. Winning a war is even more expensive. We want Ukraine to prevail in this war, and Ukraine needs our help to do this.
The U.S. Congress and Administration have passed several large, historic, and bipartisan financial aid packages for Ukraine in the last two months. Among them: $3.5 billion in drawdown authority, $1.7 billion to ensure continuity of Ukraine’s democratic operations, and $650 million in military assistance to Ukraine.
However, this is not enough for Ukraine to sustain itself in total war. Ukraine needs security and economic assistance to defeat russian aggression and provide basic commodities to people impacted by the war and russia’s incessant attacks on civilian areas.
As President Joe Biden announced in his May 9 statement, shortly after signing the groundbreaking Lend Lease Act for Ukraine, “I have nearly exhausted the resources given to me by a bipartisan majority in Congress to support Ukraine’s fighters. This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield.”
The U.S. Congress is responsible for approving the spending of the U.S. Government, and the U.S. Administration may ask for additional money beyond approved budgets and spending schedules when the need for funds is too urgent to be postponed until the next regular annual appropriations act.
In light of this, U.S. President Joe Biden has requested the U.S. Congress to promptly pass the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act in the amount of $39 billion. This Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act is an emergency supplemental budget; many similar bills have been proposed and passed before, providing necessary funding for U.S. initiatives, both domestic and international.
In order to keep Ukraine in the fight for democracy and freedom, Ukraine needs about $10 billion a year in assistance from its strategic partners, according to conservative estimates. However, a $39 billion supplemental budget for Ukraine would be a gamechanger, and, according to President Biden’s May 9 statement, the amount includes “military, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine,” adding that “the plan was substantial in size, because the need is substantial: we must stand by Ukraine as it defends itself from Russian aggression.”
But there’s also good news on the horizon. On May 10, the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act passed the House. The next step is to have the Senate pass the bill.
What can you do to help the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act pass?
First, find your Senators. It is important that Senators hear from their constituents – the people that they represent, so please enter the zip code where you’re registered to vote.
Second, call your Senator. Yes, calling is important. Someone from the Senator’s office may pick up and write down your message, or you may have to leave a voice message. This is normal and part of the process. Click here for more detailed instructions and a sample text.
Third, in your message to your Senator, state your name and your zip code. Thank your Senator for their continued support of Ukraine and convey that their support of Ukraine is of utmost importance to you. Feel free to list a few reasons why you support Ukraine, i.e. you’re a Ukrainian-American, you believe in Ukraine’s fight for freedom and against tyranny, or you know someone currently in Ukraine who is affected by the war.
Fourth, urge your Senator to do everything they can to pass the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act as soon as possible.
That’s it! Thank you for being an advocate for Ukraine and using your democratic right to voice your concerns and priorities to the U.S. Government to help save lives and defend democracy.