Members of Congress in the United States are discussing a bill funding the Ukraine war to the tune of up to $100 billion at one go, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
With the failure of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, the achievement of the United States’ sweeping goals of “weakening” Russia through the war in Ukraine by reconquering Crimea and the Donbas will require a massive expansion of direct U.S. involvement in the war, up to and including the deployment of U.S. troops.
In August, the Biden administration requested $24 billion in additional spending on the war with Russia. But the price tag of the proposed bill has grown two, three, or even four times in proposals made by members of Congress.
“Now, supporters of Ukraine in the Senate are aiming to offer a much bigger and longer-term package—with a price tag between $50 billion and $100 billion,” the Journal reported.
The Journal wrote, “Many pro-Ukraine senators say that passing a large package sufficient to carry Ukraine through the next U.S. election would send a strong message abroad that the chaos in the House won’t affect America’s long-term commitment to Ukraine.”
The largest package was proposed by Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. The Journal reported Blumenthal “said if it were up to him, the number would be closer to $100 billion.”
The newspaper quoted Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as supporting a single aid package in the order of $70 billion. “I want to be one and done,” Graham said. “I want to get them through the next fighting season, through next year, so the Russians would realize this gets worse for them, not better.”
To date, the United States has spent approximately $150 billion on the Ukraine war. As the Biden administration has erased all existing limits on U.S. involvement in the war, the cost of the conflict has soared.
Last week, all Democratic members of the House of Representatives supported a group of fascist Republican members of Congress, led by Trump acolyte Matt Gaetz, in removing Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
As the World Socialist Web Site explained last week, the central focus of the Democrats is securing funding for the Ukraine war. “The Democrats… are pledging to collaborate with the domestic agenda of the Republicans in exchange for guarantees that funding for Ukraine is untouchable,” the WSWS wrote.
The contours of this deal are now taking shape. Last week, Biden announced that he is resuming construction of a wall along the United States’ southern border, the cornerstone of former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policy.
Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat, told the Washington Post, “Border security is a goal that I have and other Democrats share. So I think there is a potential sweet spot for compromise if border security is something that Republicans require.”
Graham stated his support for tying a crackdown on the border to the passage of funding for the Ukraine war. “To those who say we need to fix our border, you’re right,” Graham told CBS on Sunday. “To those who say we need to help Ukraine, you’re right. To those who say we need to do the border, not Ukraine, you’re wrong.”
He continued, “We got to fix asylum, we need border security agent increases, we need more detention beds,” Graham said. “I think there’s Democratic support for major border security reform, but we have to attach it to Ukraine for those who say we need to fix our border.”
The House of Representatives will reconvene Wednesday to hold elections for speaker. Whatever the outcome, it is clear that the escalation of the Ukraine war has shifted the framework of American politics far to the right.
To date, the United States has provided Ukraine with 38 long-range HIMARS missile launchers, thousands of armored vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 31 Abrams tanks, and more than 300 million rounds of small arms ammunition.
In the latest escalation, U.S. President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the United States would send the ATACMS long-range missile to Ukraine. Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly endorsed Ukraine using NATO long-range missiles to strike inside Russia, declaring that it is “up to them to make decisions about what can be most effective when it comes to restoring their territorial integrity.”