As Washington considers the $40 billion in emergency expenditure that President Joe Biden reportedly requested on Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is pleading with Congress not to link disaster assistance to more help for Ukraine while casting aspersions on the Biden administration for the decision to link the two.
There is a sense of urgency to refill the cash before the height of hurricane season since the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s catastrophe fund may run out of money as early as August.
In order to finance the government through September 30th, the Biden administration asked for $12 billion for the agency.
Conservatives, though, have taken issue with the administration’s choice to include $24 billion in new Ukraine aid in the request, calling it a “blank check” for the country’s intractable civil conflict.
Disaster help may make the spending package more appealing and put greater pressure on lawmakers to approve a continuing resolution that includes money for Ukraine.
Rubio, who represents Florida, a state that receives a lot of disaster aid, branded the action a “cynical political manipulation” and urged Congress to take the disaster relief into separate consideration.
With overwhelmingly bipartisan backing, Washington has committed more than $110 billion to halting Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.
However, conservatives who argue that the sheer volume of aid makes it vulnerable to fraud and waste are becoming a growing threat to military hawks.