President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a mammoth new $33 billion spending bill for Ukraine in order to surge military and economic aid to the country as it beats back Russian aggression nine weeks into war.

The new request, which dwarfs earlier spending in the fight, sends a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States is determined to weaken Russia and supercharge Ukrainian forces as Kyiv and Moscow face off in eastern Ukraine.

“The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen,” Biden said in a speech at the White House on Thursday.

The extra funding “is what we believe is needed to enable Ukraine's success over the next five months of this war,” a senior administration official told reporters before the announcement.


The bill will include $20 billion in military and weapons assistance, $8.5 billion in economic assistance, and $3 billion in humanitarian and food aid, renew U.S. stockpiles of key systems, and help other nations shift their dependence on Russian weapons, according to an official.

Biden said the money would prove essential to keeping Ukraine's economy running, as forecasts predict it could shrink by up to 45% this year.

“It's also going to help schools and hospitals open. It's gonna allow pensions and social support to be paid to the Ukrainian people so they have something in their pocket,” said Biden.

Still, the president said the plan is about more than helping Kyiv: U.S. farmers and producers will also get a boost.

The plan calls for implementing the Defense Production Act to expand U.S. production of critical minerals and resources disrupted by the war, as well as funding for U.S. food crops.

The Biden administration has committed more than $1.5 billion in military aid to Ukraine in recent weeks, with different types of weapons, such as howitzers, drones, and more.

“This continued bipartisan support in Congress is vital to ensuring the Ukrainian people have the resources they need to win this war,” a senior official said.

Further, the White House said it expects U.S. partners and allies, including members of the Group of Seven, to provide comparable levels of support.

The president also announced a plan to make it easier to seize and sell the assets of Russian oligarchs and elites and send the proceeds to Ukraine.

“That's going to ensure that when the oligarchs' assets are sold off, funds can be used directly to remedy the harm,” Biden said.

A senior official said the administration was seeking approval for an expanded and expedited administrative process for the Treasury Department to seize oligarch property. The official assured reporters that the move would meet constitutional requirements.


Biden, who also renewed his ask for $22.5 billion in emergency COVID-19 relief, said it didn't matter how the legislation gets through.

“I don't care how they do it,” he told reporters. “I’m sending them both up.”