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U.S. unveils new security package for Ukraine as future of aid uncertain

U.S. President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 21. On Wednesday, the Biden administration unveiled what it said may be one of its last security packages for Ukraine unless Congress acts on Biden's emergency supplemental funding bill. File Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI
U.S. President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House on Sept. 21. On Wednesday, the Biden administration unveiled what it said may be one of its last security packages for Ukraine unless Congress acts on Biden's emergency supplemental funding bill. File Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The United States unveiled a new security package for Ukraine as President Joe Biden's emergency funding bill for Kyiv and other allies falters in the Senate.

The package of lethal weapons and equipment, valued at some $175 million, was announced Wednesday, representing the 52nd military drawdown from U.S. stockpiles for Ukraine since August 2021.

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According to a news release from the Department of Defense, the United States, Ukraine's largest backer in its war against Russia, has committed more than $44.8 billion in security assistance to Kyiv during the Biden administration, including more than $44 billion since the war began on Feb. 24, 2022.

However, the announcement comes as Congress-approved funds for Ukraine are nearly spent, a reality the White House has been warning about for months and has urged lawmakers to act before coffers run dry.

In October, Biden unveiled a $111 billion emergency supplement funding bill that would give Ukraine tens of billions in assistance, as well as billions to Israel, and funds for other national security concerns, including border security.

But it has been met with staunch resistance from Republicans who say it doesn't go far enough on border policies, prompting Democrats to accuse the GOP of jeopardizing national security to secure partisan goals.

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On Wednesday, Republicans in the Senate prevented the bill from moving forward in a 49-51 vote.

Early this week, Shalanda Young, director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, sent House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., a letter to emphasize the urgency of the moment, stating that as lawmakers consider the bill, U.S. national security is on the line around the world,.

"That's why passing this supplemental is so important. It could determine the trajectory of democracy for years to come. We are at a moment in history," she said.

The package includes air defense capabilities, artillery ammunition, anti-tank weapons and other equipment and spare parts.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned in his announcement of the package that it would be among the last for Ukraine until Congress acts on Biden's supplement funding request.

"Helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression and secure its future advances our national security interests and contributes to global stability around the world, and we need Congress to act immediately," he said in a statement.

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