US President Joe Biden is delivering remarks now at the White House on a $33 billion supplemental funding bill aimed at helping Ukraine as Russia's brutal and unrelenting war enters a new phase over the next several months.
"It's critical this funding gets approved and approved as quickly as possible," Biden said.
"We're not attacking Russia. We're helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression, and just as Putin chose to launch this brutal invasion, he could make the choice to end this brutal invasion," he added.
The $33 billion request includes $20.4 billion requested for military and security assistance, including $5 billion in additional drawdown authorities, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $4 billion for the State Department's Foreign Military Financing Program, a senior administration official told reporters.
The official said a portion of the $20 billion in military assistance could be used to backfill contributions of munitions and equipment from other countries, allowing those countries to "be able to defend themselves fully." The official characterized the initiative in the context of Biden's effort to rally the world behind support for Ukraine.
More on the aid request: It also includes targeted funding "to address economic disruptions at home and around the world due to Putin's aggression," which will help increase US production of food crops like soybeans, as well as funding to allow the use of the Defense Production Act to expand US production of critical reserves of minerals and other materials disrupted by the war.
Biden will also send a proposal to Congress Thursday outlining a legislative package to further pressure Russian oligarchs over Russia's war in Ukraine, including using money from their seized assets to fund Ukraine's defense, the White House said.
The package — developed through an interagency process including the Treasury Department, Justice Department, State Department and Commerce Department — will "establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine and further strengthen related law enforcement tools," the White House said in a fact sheet.
Read more about the proposal here.